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Session: Bios: Megafauna:: Solo Session #3 Paul Harford Living Rules Variant

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 11:11:28 +0000

by DocSavage2001 Back for another try at taking over the planet as the dominant life-form with the reptilian "Chisel Lizards" against the AI mammalian "Two-Tuskers". I fared even worse this time around. Details below. I think next time I will try with the "Dino-Crocs" (I already won with "Dog-faces".)The first part of the game was a lot like the last game I played, where, for a long time, the world was a happy, peaceful, and very prolific place. The environment cooperated, but there wasn't much useful DNA available for a long time. The best DNA was coming off the Roadrunner tracks for the AI, but I play by a house rule for the Paul Harford Living Rules Solo Variant, where I am not allowed to "buy" off the Roadrunner DNA track. So I fell behind. I managed to use the fact that I CAN change sizes (where the AI is stuck at Size 3) to take over some biomes where Size was the treasured trait for survival. Meanwhile, the AI went marine off the Roadrunner track to grab all the M biomes to the south.By the end of the Jurassic, the happy world looked like this. Me, carving out my size and homeland territory in the north, the AI taking up all the water biomes to the south:The Triassic period ended much the same way, still no global catastrophes to deal with, no Atlantic ocean. Heck, I wasn't even getting many Greenhouse events (one, I think?) and only a couple of Milankovich events (that make certain biomes go extinct). So, no picture there.It got down to the last couple of cards of the Cretaceous period, still no catastrophes, the Atlantic ocean still hadn't formed and I had only three Mesozoic tiles left. (I play with the optional rule that you just start drawing Cenozoic tiles when the Mesozoic tiles run out rather than ending the game. Though, in retrospect... maybe not wise on my part.)I saw some biomes I could get to if I just got some G DNA. And of course, THAT DNA buy was the one that pulled the Solar Flare Global Catastrophe. That only kills off species with 7 or more DNA and guess who had JUST BOUGHT their 7th DNA? Not the AI. My archetype species was the ONLY species wiped out by the Solar Flare. That was followed by the first tile pull from the Cenozoic area being the Super Fern biome. It scores 3 x population, but was where no one could get to it. Even worse, it dropped the temperature on Earth even more with the resultant global cooling freezing over the upper half of North America and killing off my other species as well. The Two-Tusker down south managed to preserve one of its fish species and two of its amphibian species. It scored in that scoring round. Being extinct, I did not.That catrastrophe also finally formed the Atlantic ocean and left two of the three remaining Two-Tuskers on the wrong side of the ocean with nowhere to expand.The earth at the end of the Cretaceous, one step away from freezing over for good:In the Tertiary period, there were two more global catastrophes. First was the Clathrate Gun Global Catastrophe. (look that up if you don't know what it is, pretty scary) warmed the Earth enough to make much of it habitable again, but it also exterminated every living species (mine, the AIs and even all the immigrants but one). The only survivor of that was the "Charlize" Therizinosaurs in the Broadleaf Conifer Forest. (They would survive to the end of the game.)The unfreezing of our homelands let the Chisel Lizards and the Two-Tuskers Lazarus back onto the map, but the last card of the game was the final global catastrophe, the much more well-known Asteroid Impact Global Catastrophe. That didn't directly wipe out either of our nascent species, but the follow-on Ice Age that froze much of the planet over for a second time ended up killing off everyone again, EXCEPT for one lone Browsing Grazing Switchblade Claw Two-Tusker in the Alpine Liverwort Meadows that scored it tiles out of the tarpit, while I score nothing again.The final surviving species on earth (besides the Therinizosaurs) and its haul of victory point tiles:In the end, I was extinct and lost by a score of 32-3! Time for Dino-Crocs next t[...]

Session: Kingdom Death: Monster:: Total Party Kill in Sodom

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:07:37 +0000

by Older Nick

The Tale of Sodom, the Ninth and Tenth hunt.

A combination of conflicting job schedules and ill-timed vacations had kept our regular Kingdome Death group away from the table for over a month, so we were quite eager to finally get back to hunting monsters. Feeling confident, we decided to go for the first Phoenix of this campaign. The aim was to get some nice gear in the future.

Except, the game had other plans…

One of the hunt events moved the Phoenix further away, beyond the overwhelming darkness. The journey through the dark stripped two survivors of all their survival. Once beyond the darkness, we found a baby and a sword, which forced us to encounter the Harvester.

In other words, spend survival or die, and we had two survivor with no survival left.

So me and my brother had to take on the Phoenix on our own.
We obviously didn’t stand a chance, the Phoenix finished us off in four rounds. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure we would’ve made it through this fight even with four survivors. The Phoenix was a lot tougher than I remembered from our first campaign.

Then again, we sort of drew all the worst cards right away. I’m looking at you “The Difference Between Us”...

So anyway, our first Total Party Kill ever. I guess we should celebrate, or something. The only light in the darkness was me not playing Kerry, so I didn’t lose my main character at least.

Back at the settlement we had eight endeavours to go through. Combined with the child we had found, we were able to get our settlement back to fifteen members again. There was also time for some Round Stone Training, trying out our new innovation.

With that behind us, we went after a White Lion, hoping to avenge ourselves of the crushing defeat.

The hunt events were smoother this time, apart from me getting heavily injured in the torso. Also, we got a really nice set of terrain cards, with extra grass and a stone head for our archer. More cover and extra range, what could possibly go wrong?

The Lion.

The Lion can go really, really wrong.

It quickly isolated Fredrik, tearing him apart with one nasty attack after the other. My brother, our designated tank, could only stand and watch in horror. A few critical hits almost saved Fredrik’s (new) survivor, but the lion eventually tore his head of.

The remaining survivors were finally able to take the beast out after this, and now it was time for our reward for suffering through all this carnage. First of, my survivor got his second hunt experience improvement, and reached Expertise with the dagger.

Back in Sodom, an event gave us the chance to breed Children of the Sun. With our possessed and emotionless love-guru Jason around, we set out to do this immediately. The result was Ted, a brat of a kid who is more powerful than any survivor still standing in our little settlement.

New plan: Get the Sauna and Family innovation and breed like crazy, our old survivors are suddenly looking at retirement!

Final words:
Without a doubt, this is the harshest beating Kingdom Death has ever given us (Fredrik, the owner of the game, might’ve seen worse before) but I guess we needed a reminder of what the game can do. The payoff was nice though, so I guess we’ll call it great drama.

Session: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3:: S20: Joseph 351

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:03:19 +0000

by kilgore234 This Scenario takes place in August of 1944, Brittany, on the very western tip of the French peninsula. This is the first Scenario of Starter Kit #3 and does not include either Guns nor AFVs. Germans are surrounded by an unusual mix of Allied units – American Rangers, French Free Forces and a rag-tag group of liberated Russian POWs led by the mysterious Scenario namesake “Joseph 351”. A die roll at the beginning of the Scenario determines exact OOB for the Allies as well as required VC.At the time, Pointe de Corsen had a small fort that housed an important radar station. There were also artillery batteries located nearby in le Conquet and Lochrist.Relevant to this Scenario is an excerpt from Joseph Balkoski’s “From Beachhead to Brittany” “The 86th Cavalry Squadron’s rapid advance managed to isolate a few minor enemy pockets outside of the Germans’ main enclave at Le Conquet, and those were small enough for Sheppe to deal with straight away with no outside help. One German fort at Point de Corsen, a rocky promontory five miles north of the Graf Spee Battery that is one of the westernmost points on the French mainland, was garrisoned by a force defined by an American intelligence report as ’50 in number, thirty to fifty years old, mostly coast guardsmen… supplied by fishing boats from Brest.’ On the evening of August 28 a task force comprised of Companies A and C of Rudder’s 2nd Ranger Battalion moved up and prepared to assault that position. It looked like a tough mission, but the task force commander, Capt. Edgar Arnold, was a veteran of the early-morning Omaha Beach assault on D-Day, and compared to that cataclysm, this job would in all likelihood be easy because the enemy garrison apparently did not have its heart in such a hopeless cause. In fact, part of the garrison attempted to escape during the night, and French partisans killed ten of them. Near midnight, the enemy force actually offered to surrender, but that procedure, according to Sheppe’s report, was ‘interrupted by their own artillery coming from La Maison Blanche’ [another German fort about three miles to the south].Location: Point de Corsen, France – the very westernmost tip of Brittany.Participants:Germans:XXV Corps elements.Allies:American 2nd Rangers, Company AFree French of the Interior (FFI) forcesRussian escaped and armed POWsROAR:At time of writing, Germans win 60% of played scenarios.Special Rules:• Germans set up first. Afterwards, Allies roll die to determine unit count and VP required to gain VC.• Germans can exit to south safely in turns 5-7, denying allied VP totals.• All Russian units can self rally.• Free French units are not inexperienced. They have no SMOKE.• American units are not subject to ELR.• Brush terrain are considered Orchard. Orchards are in season.• No leadership DRM to other nationalities.Victory Conditions:Based on VP earned by allies. Exact level depends on Special Rules (above). In brief, the Allies earn points only through the elimination of German units. They’ll need to go after them to eliminate, not just break. Alternatively, the Allies can win automatically if they control >=30 hexes of hills by end of Turn 4.Introduced This Scenario:No new units or concepts.Setup:We know that there will be 7 Russian squads setting up to the south of the Germans. We know that the Americans and Free French will enter from the north – we just don’t yet know how many of those are coming. My initial thinking is that the Germans will need to hold the hill for as long as possible (at least through Turn 4) and then make a run to the south through the Russian POWs. The Germans set up first and keep all these factors in mind as they commit their units. With an ELR of 2, the Germans are extremely brittle and don’t have many locations with which to retreat and rally.SSR1 dr is a ‘6’ which calls for:• US squads 8x 6-6-7• Free French squads 2x 5-3-6• Required VP must equal/exceed 22For refe[...]

Session: Flamme Rouge:: Flamme Rouge 10-Stage Grand Tour

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:02:58 +0000

by Bangla

I've just completed a 10-stage Grand Tour, playing with the solo rules and two AI teams. The cyclists' names were based on gamers that I regularly play other games against.
The whole tour GC came down to the last race, and only 10 seconds separated the first two riders. I posted a series of race reports, including a full pictorial report of one of the stages here .

I will definitely play another Grand Tour, adding the fourth team as a third AI, and also include a few more stages.

The final stage result, and the GC were as follows (and I was playing the black team):

Stage 10 Avenue Corso Paseo
And so to the final stage of the tour. Hugo and Teobaldi made a great effort and both came to the front as the race neared it's climax. However, slipstreaming as shown above after turn #10, and then again after turn #10 as they were crossing the finish line, meant Seauière just managed to hang on to his overall lead. Amazingly, Raffaele Bumbero sprinted past for his first stage win and first tour points of the whole event.

Team Class Time Diff. Points
1. Raffaele Bumbero Red Sprinteur - 3
2. Vicente Hugo Red Rouleur +0:10 2
3. Alessio Teobaldi Blue Rouleur +0:10 1
4. Alain Seauière Black Rouleur +0:20
5. Anton Langsam Blue Sprinteur +0:30
6. Antoine Reynaud Black Sprinteur +0:40

General Classification
All this means the lead for the GC, and the extra three tour points goes to Seauière. But his advantage over Teobaldi was only ten seconds, or a single space after ten races. Langsam held onto the top Sprinteur title, 20 seconds ahead of Reynaud.

Team Class Time Diff. Points
1. Alain Seauière Black Rouleur - 20
2. Alessio Teobaldi Blue Rouleur +0:10 18
3. Vicente Hugo Red Rouleur +1:00 16
4. Anton Langsam Blue Sprinteur +7:40 4
5. Antoine Reynaud Black Sprinteur +8:00 5
6. Raffaele Bumbero Red Sprinteur +18:10 3

In the end a very exciting end to an exciting tour. I will definitely play out another tour in the future, probably with the fourth (green) team. Need to think of two appropriate names though, based on other gamers I know (image)

Session: God's Playground:: Playing it *more correctly* with a co-operative group

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:02:24 +0000

by rabgeez *Please note this is a general report and not exactly action by action*Last night I played God's Playground for the second time. The first time my friends and I played we got an important rule wrong which resulted in a much easier game. Partly for that reason I wasn't desperate to play it again and circumstance dictated that it was another 6 months before it got played.Coming into this second game I'd made a video for my opponents -one opponent from the previous game- to watch and a player aid with pictures which really sped up the play of the game. We knew that we'd played incorrectly the time before -who hasn't made at least one mistake in GP?- and that it would be harder. As we were playing the Polish version with a player count of 3, we used strengthened treaties (4zł or 6zł for stronger, harder-to-break treaties) and the treaty rules of not allowing treaties with the Ottomans in turns 3 or 4, or with the Tartars in turns 1 or 2. We played with cities giving only 2 times points due to the huge difference this made to end scoring and began the game with the prosperity values of Prussia, Greater Poland, and Lesser Poland on 4zł rather than 3zł. This was done to incentivise players to inhabit those regions but I made it clear that they were more at risk compared to the often-popular Lithuania and Ukraine.At the beginning we placed our estates mostly in Lithuania. My friend Łukasz and his sister, Magda, chose to also build estates in Prussia, whereas, I stuck to the usually-safer Ukraine. Almost at once Lithuania was entirely occupied, as was Prussia. As the game went on I placed one extra estate in Ukraine each turn with Łukasz only building one estate there in turn 2 (and not returning after it was burnt down). With all of us so concentrated in these 3 regions, no-one cared so much about Greater Poland and Lesser Poland. From the first turn the Ottomans broke through and expanded through the country leaving a single cube in each region for future turns. This continued a theme in that game, whereby the three of us huddled in Prussia, Lithuania and Ukraine and largely left G.Poland and L.Poland without estates. Magda tried to build some in both these afflicted regions but later would regret it. However, since Prussia and Lithuania were so full she had few other options.It being her first game, she really did her best to help Poland and made peace with the Russians and Swedes in turn 2 and 3 respectively, spending her own money selflessly much to our relief (although opting for the cheapest treaty going each time which, thankfully, held). The first sign of selfishness came from my friend when on the 3rd turn he finished filling Lithuania with estates (nabbing the 5-point estate) and building a city on an earlier estate. This is par for the course, and when I got priority on the final turn, I too built a city in the same region. By going first on the last turn and with two uses of the king's army I watched as each border, apart from that with the Hapsburgs was secured. I used the King's Army to deal with the Ottomans, my first parliament disc to mostly deal with the Hapsburgs but then decided not to use my last disc. For, you see, Łukasz and Magda (mostly Łukasz with 3 estates) had a presence in Prussia, and I calculated that there would be enough spread of enemy cubes to destroy his 5-value estate. They also marched into Lesser Poland and burnt down poor Magda's solitary 3-value estate but could go no further and inflict damage in Ukraine.So, it was by this treacherous and unfaithful act that I won by 6 points. I was also helped by Magda's use of confederation in Turn 4, stealing a 3-value estate from her brother. I had the good fortune of having left far too many cubes in Lithuania and never used them so towards the end I had enough to comfortably stave off such an action. Had Magda not done this and had I not allowed the Hapsburgs through, I would have only come second.ConclusionWhat I not[...]

Session: Karmaka:: Karmaka with my Breakfast Gaming group

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 04:02:09 +0000

by AntoniusMN

Playing with my two co-workers/friends Levi and Jake at our new favorite gaming/meeting place: La Barista in the Washington Square Mall. Good food, great coffee, and delicious smoothies, as my 6 year old will attest to. We meet up once a month or so to play some of my new games. This past weekend I brought along Karmaka, as I had recently got it in a big lot off of ebay and played through it once with my niece, and felt it might get a good reception from Jake and Levi.

We went over the rules fairly quickly, and though Jake had a small hangup about the importance of the future life play option, we were ready to go.

No one really played all that cutthroat for the first couple of turns, everyone pretty much kept to themselves, laying down cards for deeds to get that first level out of the way. Levi ascended first, followed by Jake and then myself each of our next turns.

Then the gloves came off.

Levi started killing my deck and hand pretty quickly, though I still managed to deed enough blue cards to ascend. Jake focused on playing blue cards for deeds and green actions on himself to bolster his future life and current deck. He managed to ascend as well... but Levi was too focused on attcking me and got a ring.

Jake started off his next life with a Double Journey-Jubilee play which netted him 6 red right off the bat. Levi got himself enough deeds to catch up to us, and I ended up getting a fairly bad deck to go with my meager future life and netted a ring. Jake was now a level up on us with one to go for him.

Jake was threatening to win with a pretty strong set of 2 and 3 point green deeds, but I managed to play Crisis on him, which basically make him expose Vengeance, which Levi then Mimic'd agaist him, and forced Jake to get a ring. Levi and I both leveled to meet Jake, so we're all at Level 3 with a ring each.

But Levi managed to outspeed both Jake and myself by Panicing himself, thinning his deck, and though a late game roulette was tried by myself to get some sort of answer. I pointed out to Jake as I started my turn that Levi had an empty hand and deck and 6 points on the board. Jake wasn't worried... but he forgot about Levi's ring. Jake had a Vengeance in hand too, but he was after Levi in turn order, and Levi snuck in a victory.

Overall, I had a great time inspite of a loss, Jake and Levi both enjoyed themselves and the game as well. They liked the options of strategy involved with planning ahead, and the "take this" which becomes "take this back" in later turns.

Looks like we'll be bringing this back into rotation sooner rather than later.

Session: Tricksters:: 1st Attempt Solo-Play - Easy Mode

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 01:27:30 +0000

by Guuthulhu This morning, after I jotted some gaming meetups on my calendar, decided to give the solitaire mode of Tricksters a go. This game has been lingering on my art table for a go for long enough. I've had some 2-player play at my school with my *ahem* "study" buddy and are still getting the hang of things. Before I get into things, if you aren't someone who likes to sleeve their games, you're going to want to with this one. After minimal handling, the cards are displaying damage along the edges. The ink is also coming off of something. I'm not sure if it is the box, cards, or instructions, but after handling the game, my fingertips have ink on them. My suspicion is the box. I wish I had acutal names for these cute Annukuh as I'm colourblind, so I cannot refer to things accurately by colour. I will be providing some images throughout this report and identifying them by their environment as they are described on the Kickstarter page. To make it easier, Mountain (split-tail), Jungle (reminds me of a sloth), Water (webbed paws).I played the game using the easy difficulty rules. I realised I scored wrong by the second turn, so the report will reflect that error. I kept my commentary inline with how things went and inserted my afterthoughts.About Solo PlaySolo play has you racing against the clock trying to earn 7 points (light or dark) before the time counter leaves round 7. This requires I pay attention and put some thought into my moves which will be challenging when more of the pool remains unrevealed and what gets revealed may not be what I banked on. I may also get distracted and randomly forget what I've put in, so there are plenty of opportunities to fail by my undoing. The other thing I need to remember is how to resolve card effects in this mode. Most of them work differently and I've identified them by their effect than by their symbol. The only exception is the skull which gives you a choice between losing an energy point or advancing the round token. An effect reference card for solo play is on my to-do list. Starting StateFirst things first, three cubs get revealed: -one dark jungle with card discard effect (chose a card from hand and discard it) -one dark jungle with avatar exchange (swap your avatar with one of a different colour from your hand--if you can. It's always resolved last and no other effects get resolved) -one light mountain with card discard effect You draw seven cards from the basic deck. My hand consisted of 4 dark cards and 3 light: -one dark jungle with x3 boost -one dark water with x3 boost -one dark mountain with x3 boost -one light basic mountain -one light basic jungle -one dark basic jungle -one light basic waterTurn OneMy starting strategy was to take advantage of all that jungle on the board and work on scoring for dark since it is prevalent in my hand. It's unfortunate I thought wrong, forgetting how scoring worked. Action 1: Draw 2 - 1 from Basic Deck and 1 Cub. Basic Deck Draw: basic dark jungle. Cub: one dark jungle with avatar exchange cub. It is replaced with a light mountain with a reduce cub card effect (the newest revealed cub card gets placed back on top of the effect deck)Action 2: Placing one basic dark jungle into the pool Action 3: Placing one x3 boost dark jungle into the pool Action 4: Placing one basic dark jungle into the poolI only placed three cards into the pool, so the oldest Annukuh cub goes into the pool. That is the light mountain with the card discard effect. The cub gets replaced with a light mountain with a skull. I reveal my avatar: dark jungle with card discard effect. The revealed pool is three jungle, two dark one light, one dark with x3 boost. The prevalent energy is dark, and there is only jungle on the board, so jungle are the perceivers I score three dark, and the boost and effect cards get discarded (in this case the x3), and my avatar gets discarded for being a per[...]

Session: International Checkers:: Position Puzzle 19

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:17:04 +0000

by anemaat

Every now and then I am quite active at PlayOK, an among International Draughtsmen, highly appreciatied online gamesite. It is a bit unpersonal style of playing, but if I have an hour left, I like to be there for a more depth-going game. The short and ultrashort games, with 5 minutes or less per person, are not meant for me.
The two position puzzles below derived from that site. They have an above average level complexity, but they prove that International Checkers is a game with great depth and beauty.
I have to admit that I was not involved in the second puzzle. I was simply a spectator and was stunned when white did those moves only in seconds. It was simply too clever not to mention here and a good case study for you the reader.

Problem I
Black just moved
. Now white is able to get to King in only two moves.


White to Move and Win

Hint I
[o]Blacks last move
created a hole in his line. First transport the black piece at field
to field
, you silly![/o]

Solution I

1. 27-21 16x18
2. 28-22 17x28

Black has two choices -
was the other - but it doesn't matter for the end result.

3. 27x1


Note that crowning a King at field
was not the most favourable one, due to
11-17; 3x21; 26x17
. Then the game continues with 8 white pieces against 8 black pieces with and unpredictable outcome.[/o]

Problem II


1. ... 12-18?

Blacks plan was to make a
the next turn. It was not going to happen...

2. 29-23!

?=A weak move.
!=A strong move


Now black has two options to make a shot. However both ways results in a King at field
. Can you discover them both?

Solution II - (the obvious


1. ... 20x29
2. 23x1



Solution II - (the genius


1. ... 18x29
2. 28-23 29x18
3. 39-34 20x29
4. 34x1



Session: Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game:: Solo session - written in narrative style

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:00:05 +0000

by JECD Just a bit of background first. To ensure I could keep the game immersive, but also keep on top of strategy and rules as I played, I set up a template to record the basics of each day - where I went, the encounters and the outcomes (it didn't interrupt play and actually helped me take time to see what I was trying to do). Afterwards, I dug out the cards I'd encountered and started to see if I can thread the events into an overarching story - imagining it from the point of the central character journalling his experiences as he went along. Therefore, there aren't any links to the actual mechanics of the game - but if you've played it, hopefully you'll recognise what is happening in terms of the gameplay. I hope you enjoy it, it turned into something much bigger than I expected! Obviously I wouldn't do this every time I play, but hopefully, in a small way it is testimony to the rich world of Kilforth.The chronicles of Throdgul, the half-orc priestI have long sensed the gathering gloom over the land of Kilforth; it is in the faces of fear all around me and it cries in the darkness at night. I have fled a land of gloom once before, betraying my kinsmen, but now I will run no more. The sages call her the Abbess of Penance, for she demands obedience, destroying the he soul; they have read the signs of her coming. I have prepared for this – I have the title of Dragon Rider and fly where I can. As I leave the relative safety of Sprawl City, I notice a stranger tracking my path. He asks my assistance to rescue a tribe of villagers, who lay defenceless against evil, taken captive in the wilderness by mysterious forces. This is indeed a Holy Quest on which to start. As night draws on, I set up camp; the hail pelts down - there is no sleep. A new day dawns and in the plains a group emerge to press me into their service; I have no time for such as these and denounce them suitably. The struggle is short and they are no more, but they are many and I suffer injury. Tonight, the hail gives way to torrential rain – the weather seems to reflect the sorrow of this land. Too tired, wet and bloodied, my spirit succumbs to the need of comfort for a night. As I limp back to the city, all seems quiet, thank God. I rest and seek the medic for my wound. Later, over a quiet mead, I fall in conversation with one from a mountain tribe. They listen to my quest and agree to teach me of their ways. Finding me an eager learner, they grant me the title of one of their own Wild Claw order. Waking, I find the city surrounded and must bribe my way out.Renewed, I head out for the Misty Fens, naively stumbling into one of my savage half-brothers: a savage black orc. Caught by surprise, I suffer badly. Recovering my senses, I defeat him and strip his body of gold – I must take what I can. A veil of fog descends and I can go no further, so trudge back once more to the retreats of the City. My wounds are worse than suspected - the medic applies his healing touch and begs me to rest; I can do nothing but head his advice. On the open heath, my path crosses a trader. She is easy to influence, unused as she is to pious ways in these evil days. At last I find a route through the wilderness to the villagers, but the servants of the enemy already have many locked up in dungeons; I must return stronger. I spend time in mediation to build my strength against the demons which I am sure lie ahead to thwart me. The following day, I set out to find the Rosen Crusader who is rumoured to have entered the grand plains of Kilforth. I find this noble knight and convince him of my just cause. Travelling on to the place known as the wretched bog, this time I stay well-hidden – and just as well for soon I spy a Lizardman on patrol. Catching him unawares, I strike a well-aimed blow and he crumples to the floor. I find a strange bottle on his body and [...]

Session: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet:: 2 Learning Games, both Make Yourself at Home

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:33:20 +0000

by ghbell We played the first scenario, the learning scenario: Make Yourself at Home, 2x. To win,we had to build a solar panel, then an oxygenator, then a farm, and then plant a new seed for the farm. Additionally, the seed needs to grow at 100% efficiency.In both games we took the same AOM's, the brown build helper, and then the green explore drone. In both games, I played the Medic and the other player was the engineer.The first game was a learning game, so getting through the rules was rough. I read the phases off of the player aid as he read out of the app, and by talking it out, the rules eventually made sense to us. I think the part that confused us as first was the event phase sort of happening twice: The actual event phase, and then the additional event phase in the action part of the turn. Telling the App which events were completed caused a little confusion as well, but we eventually figured that out. The first game was mostly a focus on familiarizing ourselves with the rules and the app. The game took about 2 hours. One thing I recall is that we were short on parts for repairing. Also, we were lucky that the engineer could freely repair. We had a lot of red cubes, but never 6. We had to repair quite a bit. We did win on the last round. The tweak action gave us the efficiency we needed, but just barely, and on our last action. We didn't explore much in this game, which of course, is why we were always low on parts. We salvaged both of our upgrades for critical parts. Our second game was much faster and cleaner. It took about an hour, and again we won on the last turn. It was very lucky though as on our last action we had about a 50/50 chance to tweak the farm up to 100% efficiency.The second game we got the "warning system" for the manage upgrade, which was huge. So huge that we probably used too many actions on that. We had only 1 or 2 red cubes at the end of the game, and that was with minimal repair.Also, only the working and living blocks were red, with the living block only going red on the 6th turn. I think that due to overmanaging, we were short on actions the last round for our farm repair, and barely made it. Perhaps we should have managed a bit less and allowed some red?Also, that second game I minimally explored and gathered. We did this 3x total: 2 explores and 1 gather. I THINK, that due to the warning system, there was no need to explore and gather. We hardly ever needed the parts since the manage action was so powerful. We used the drone for all explores in both games. So, final thoughts were generally positive regarding the game. The first scenario seems easy, but then, it is the learning scenario, meant to get the players familiarized with the rules. I was pretty happy with it overall, and I would be interested to play it without the engineer. He is extremely powerful for that first mission.The rules seemed to flow fine once we got that first game under control. There were questions, but the FAQ in the app and here solved most of those.I would imagine that without the updated FAQ, the rules would have been tough to get through. I am assuming the App handles the scaling of the game for fewer players by gerrymandering the events that take place. That was fine with me.I didn't like that if my drone was exploring, I still took wounds. That seems very odd to me. I could have happily called it stress or some such, but then, there is a stress component already. Also, the wound icon does show bandages. Not a big deal though. Finally, the biggest complaint was that my decision choices each turn seemed very minimal. There were clear things that HAD to be done each turn, so I actually made very few choices. That said, there were SOME choices, such as overmanaging in my second game, so clearly there is room there that I haven't seen yet, as [...]

Session: Samarkand: Routes to Riches:: Easy to learn, hard to master

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 12:30:15 +0000

by Zmogyls39

My brother has been visiting us and we have been catching up on all the games we've bought since he was last here. Last night was Samarkand.
He seemed a little dubious at first by all the prep-work: there are lots of pieces to sort out and place on the board. He's a good sport though and gladly did his part to set up.
Although he was the youngest, he did not want to start so I did, letting his go last after my wife.

I started out with cards on opposite sides of the map and went with buying into green and selling the first goods I found. That gave me a good near orange which I then married into and sold that good too. These funds were a good start to buy into red then blue, getting them to meet each other as they went. My wife was buying into most of the same families as I was, so I had to cause meet-ups quickly before she could.

My brother was slowly getting the gist of the game, but started by marrying into brown and white which are on opposite sides, so they couldn't help each other gain him coins.
Red was down to one handshake very quickly (having met blue, black, green and brown) and so was kind of sitting there as an end-game threat the whole time.

We played for a little over an hour, making sure not to cause the end-game by causing red then blue to run out of meeting tokens. I did cause the end-game myself when I felt I was unlikely to gain many more points and both the other players had just invested into new families.
I ended up with 6 families, my wife 7 and my brother 5.
I had succeeded in getting camels to all of my 9 cards, 7 of which got me 8 points and two, 5 points.

This photo was taken towards the end of the game.

The end score was 78 for me, 67 for my wife and 44 for my brother. He deplored the fact that it took him a while to figure the strategy out and had been too focused on getting to the resources on his cards instead of joining trade routes. He did have fun, however, and said he'd play again sometime.

To explain the post's subject, there are lots of little strategies that a player has to keep track of and can't get too focused on one. This is a pretty fun game, and since you only have two action choices per turn, can go pretty quickly. Just don't get discouraged by the large number of pieces that need placing at the beginning, and maybe get more baggies to keep them sorted while in the box.

Session: 1960: The Making of the President:: 1960

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:09:48 +0000

by slovenehero The 44th US Presidential Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8th 1960. The two candidates running for the Presidency are Senator John F. Kennedy, 43, Democrat of Massachussets and Vice President Richard Nixon, 47, Republican of California. The polls suggest that this one is really too close to call. 537 Electoral Votes are up for grabs. Republicans have a small lead in 14 states (UT, AZ, WY, CO, ND, SD, NE, KS, OK, IA, IN, OH, VT, ME) for a total of 103 Electoral Votes. Democrats are leading in 10 states (MO, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, NC, RI, MA, AR) for a total tally of 104 Electoral votes. The 330 Electoral votes of the remaining 36 states are leaning mostly towards the Democrats (210 D - 120 R) but there are too many undecided voters to be accounted for at this stage to make this statistic relevant. There are plenty of opportunities for both candidates to set the stage for a trail blazing electoral campaign! The Political bag is seeded with 24 cubes, 12 for each candidate. The initiative check for Turn 1 is won by Nixon (2 red cubes).Phase 1. Having won the initiative Nixon plays his first card for the event, Gathering Momentum in the West (0 rest) for 1 Momentum marker. This is a strong push in the West for the Republicans, netting a total of +9 red cubes and securing the lead in 9 more states (CA, AK, HI, WA, OR, ID, NV, NM, MT). Republicans now lead in 23 states for a total 171 electoral votes.Kennedy is turning to the media to stem the Republican tide early. Plus the political bag is ever so slightly favouring the Democrat candidate (12 - 10) . The Trial of Gary Powers is played as an Advertising action for 3CP (+1 rest). Three blue cubes are drawn from the bag. That is a very good outcome for the Democrats who decide to focus heavily on the East placing all 3 blue cubes there.Phase 2.On the back of a very strong 1st phase, Nixon decides to play Lyndon Johnson as a Campaigning action to consolidate his recent gains. It's a high-value 4CP card (0 rest) which comes at a price for the Republican player. Nixon decides to add 3 red cubes to California to carry the key state in the West and spend the remaining 1 CP to travel to Michigan in the Midwest. Kennedy immediately jumps on the opportunity to trigger the event spending 1 of the 2 initial Momentum markers. As a result 2 blue cubes are added in Texas, 1 blue cube in Tennesse, 1 blue cube in Florida and 1 blue cube in Virginia. The democrats have secured the lead in 4 more states bringing their Electoral vote tally to 161. With media support squarely in the Democrat camp, Kennedy decides to play World Series End for the event (+1 rest), granting the Democrats 2 blue cubes in New York, 2 blue cubes in Pennsylvania and 1 blue cube in New Jersey. Large gains for the Democrats again. They are leading in 17 states for a total of 254 Electoral votes.Phase 3.Nixon is starting to feel the pinch of Kennedy's recent gains. He decides to play Henry Luce as a campaigning action 2CP (+2 rest) to mobilise voters support in the Midwest. He places 1 red cube in Michigan and then travels to Illinois to place a red cube there as well adding 2 states worth a total of 47 Electoral votes to the Republican camp, now leading in 25 states for 218 Electoral votes. With a single Momentum market left to Nixon's three, Kennedy decides against triggering Henry Luce as the event. A single endorsement marker doesn't seem like a good trade for his last Momentum marker.Kennedy decides to change tack and focus on the issues. He plays Stature Gap pre-emptively on a positioning action for 2CP (+2 rest) before the event takes effect, adding 1 blue cube on Defense and 1 blue cube on the Economy. As suspected, with three momentum markers in his hand Nixon decides to trigger the event which [...]

Session: Target for Today:: Leper Colony flies again!

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:50:18 +0000

by yuginot

Recreating missions of the fictious Bomber Squadron flying within the 918th Bomber Group featured in the movie, "12 O'Clock High". I am personally playing the B-17, "Leper Colony", Captained by Lt. Col. Ben Gately. 2nd mission. Target: Breast/U-Boats. Long, arduous, tedious, yet very enjoyable game. I really feel as though I am the character Major Stovall, with all of his seemingly endless paperwork! Tracking the bombers, crews, etc. So many dice rolls and tables! Cool!
Lost one bomber that took too many hits after aborting due to suit heat system loss and many hits. Another turned around early due to suit heat sys. loss. Another with an engine fire during run-up. Funny, enemy fighters were few on the way to the target. On the way back though.... Even with 100% cloud cover over the target, most bombers had good percentages of hits. Leper Colony, on the way home, got trounced many times by the JG-26 109's causing four crew members to be wounded. Three seriously, one light. Tail gunner position lost O2. So down to 10k. 3 guns jammed. One totally. Made it over England under 10k and land safely. Only one bomber crashed landing at home. Crew/Player are tired after this mission! Wonder what ever happened to the crew who went down over the channel? Hope their all ok!

Session: 1914: Serbien Muss Sterbien:: Scenario 1 Play

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:44:20 +0000

by oceanweather

Today I finished playing the initial eight turn scenario from Serbia 1914. This game covers the bungled opening invasion of Serbia by Austria-Hungary (A-H). As was historical, the last few turns saw the Serb army go on the general offensive, clearing  A-H out of northern Serbia on the last turn for a win. This was a great, fun game with John walking me through the last few rule bits to get this game down. The game features a push-shove CRT causing, over time, casualties and combat effectiveness losses (think of these as a morale check) as  both sides try to drive the other to breaking point first. Highlights for me was a series of three or four brutally effective attacks which drove back an entire A-H Corps, both divisions of which were nearing collapse as the departed Serbia for safer ground. 

I must admit my first go at this game a few months back was less than satisfactory - mainly due to how dense and packed the rulebook is. The rules, themselves, are quite clear, relatively short and concise. However, the format and organization leaves something to be desired, especially for a new player. Key concepts are not introduced early on and those concepts when introduced have no explanatory background as to why this section is important or how it fits into the overall game flow. I also found the index to be lacking. Still it is all there and all spelled out; you just need to get familiar enough with the rules and the game to pull it all together. My thanks to John for walking me through the learning process.

John plays a quality, clever game, always calculating the strategic and tactical loss vs gain for every attack while keeping in mind the overall situation. He is not afraid to take appropriate risk if the potential reward is there. This makes him a dangerous opponent.

Session: Panzer Leader:: Sceanrio 2 Omaha Beach and Scenario 3 Gold Beach

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:44:08 +0000

by oceanweather

On Saturday I lost two games of Panzer Leader against Clyde L. We played the two D-Day beach landing actions that come with the game, Scenario 2 Omaha Beach and Scenario 3 Gold Beach. In Omaha my German artillery really chewed up the American infantry but Clyde managed to sneak through two AA mounted halftracks into the backfield to two capture two Board A towns. That, when combined with the easy pickings town that sits right on the Board B beach, was enough for an American victory. It was a very close match. I felt pretty good with my fort, mine and block heavy defensive set up though I will shift a few mines and place another 88mm AT in a key fort to prevent the halftrack breanthrough next time.

In our second match, Gold Beach, Clyde stopped my invading Brits cold with two powerful, artillery packed forts with interlocking fields of fire on the Board B hill tops. The British are just not powerful enough to take out the forts (the Naval Gunfire Support comes in at 100 factors mid-game (if concentrated this gives you a single 1-1 with a +1 DRM on one of the forts with a 1/3 chance to disrupt and no chance to destroy) when all the action starts to heat up. My infantry play was poor and dispersed - I had no real goal for what I wanted to do with them. I also failed to make the most of my Churchill funnies - a flamethrower tank and a bridge laying tank. His mine and fort placement was almost perfect with only one flaw noted during the post-game discussion. 

I believe the beach scenarios require very careful, very high quality play by both sides. Any mistake and the win will be handed to your opponent. This makes each turn, each attack, each move critical.  It is always fun to play Clyde and it was a thrill to play these two cool bucket list beach landing scenarios. I am impressed that Clyde came up with such a good defense in our Gold Beach play which shows his Panzer Leader skill has quickly become quite advanced. You should have joined us and you should give these two scenarios a try!

Session: Nemo's War (second edition):: Triumph after 3 defeats.

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:23:55 +0000

by Pipercub

Just started playing and have only done Explorer Motive on Sailor Difficulty. First three games were defeats, drove Nemo insane twice and lost to too many ships (imperialistic victory i think). Definitely some misunderstanding of the rules and various DRM scenarios and how to use them took their toll on those earlier games. Today's session had everything come together and I managed a 300+ point victory. I did feel like the adventure deck was little softer on me this time around, more beneficial events than do-or-die tests all the time. Lots of treasure related events and a fair number of +1 treasure ships to plunder as well. Also I had benevolent dice and passed most tests so that I was able to keep most of the extra crew members alive all game.

One thing I'm not quite sure of is the exerting resources tactics. It feels like every test requires you to exert resources. Sure you could get lucky and roll well enough to pass without doing so, but often the cost of failure is just as daunting as risking the resources so I am pretty much all in on exerted resources every time. I think this helps add some tension to the rolls and it results in consequences as risked resources are depleted while the failures mount. Certainly adds to theme as your battered ship and weary crew provide less help as they wear down and I like that Nemo briefly becomes more powerful as his madness sets in. Maybe I'm missing something, but I just feel that there isn't much strategy to choosing whether to risk resources because so often tests will most likely fail without them. Then it becomes a matter of luck of do the dice let me keep the resources and pass the test or lose it all in one go.

Anyways I do really enjoy this game and am looking forward to playing he other motives and maybe venturing into officer difficulty just to relive the taste of crushing defeat.

Session: Pirates of the Spanish Main:: 4 player game on VASSAL

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:07:52 +0000

by a7xfanben This was a 4 player game on VASSAL between myself, xerecs, repkosai, and wifey. We used Cadet-Captain Mike's random setup tables, rolling 6-5-1 for free ships totalling 10 cargo and four free crew. Since the game was played in 2 chunks and I was only 1 of 4 players, this is the best summary I can muster.The play order went from left to right as the fleets appear at the top: xerecs with a mostly Pirate fleet, repkosai with a mixed fleet, a7xfanben with a Cursed fleet, and wifey with a mostly English fleet. We did round earth and included plenty of UT's!The fleets scatter, and the gold race begins!Repkosai's Black Pearl (xerecs used that ship as well) found Pandora's Box, bringing some craziness into the game. Wifey's Monarca found one of the worst islands in recent memory, with negative UT's, 0 coins, and Bad Maps, which is why the island in the southeast nearly round earthed to a different part of the map!This was taken after we resumed play this past weekend, and Repkosai has lost the Black Pearl and Gibraltar, while wifey's Monarca and my Lilu also sunk (the latter with copier DJC Davy Jones aboard, who was copying Emperor Blackheart's All-Powerful keyword to be just like the OE Davy Jones). Xerecs' Flying Dutchman has just docked home a captured Benito de Soto (via Bonny Peel) for a big 9 gold chunk. Wifey's HMS Grand Temple found misfortune in the form of UT's and was set upon by my Cursed fleet, but escaped and rid herself of the Runes of Death via whirlpooling, repairing soon afterwards. The Cursed gathered gold for a while and here they've struck, coming out of the fog to dismast Xerecs' Black Pearl.The south became the location of a hot action, with the Hades' Realm finally revealing her secret weapon: Captain Nemo! I was trying to use Nemo in conjunction with OE El Fantasma (sac captain) in order to sac any crew for extra actions that didn't benefit the HR (department) while aboard. To make it more complex and fun, Wraith was aboard the Fiddler's Green to reanimate sacrificed crew for additional usage! The Cursed had the good fortune of discovering the Eye of Insanity early in the game, using it on the Fiddler's Green to copy El Fantasma with Wraith and give the FG the captain ability. (in)Human Resources won a boarding party against the Black Pearl, allowing Nemo to capture Emperor Blackheart! This was important but also ironic, because I had previously used Davy Jones to copy EBH to essentially use the OE Davy Jones (which is what I originally had before remembering the Lilu was 11 points compared to 12 needed for OE DJ). The Cursed once again had access to an All-Powerful crew! In addition, this gave them an incredible cast of characters all on the same ship: Fantasma, Nemo, and Blackheart, some of the biggest characters from this game.Here the Fiddler's Green and Hades' Realm team up to take down the Flying Dutchman. The Jikininki was also disposed of by the Cursed, a ship notably included by xerecs in a clever (and somewhat gamey) way of exploiting the setup rules, as she's the only ship (not including sea creatures) in the game to not have any cargo space.Repkosai's Resolucion has captured Xerecs' Black Pearl, giving us a second irony since repkosai had a BP earlier in the game before it was sunk. The Cursed have captured the Flying Dutchman and scuttled her to take advantage of Eternal.After briefly collaborating with repkosai in a secret alliance, I unfortunately turned on him because it was the best move I could make that gave me the best chance of winning the game. Nemo's captive EBH rolled a 6 to toss the Resolucion onto a reef, where she l[...]

Session: D-Day at Omaha Beach:: 8 Kilometers of Beach (Full Game Report)

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:07:47 +0000

by apart A mild hope crept over me as the tanks motored toward the beach. Perhaps this time will be different, perhaps there will be a chink in the colors and shapes of the cards that allows me to open up a foothold quickly ...0615Omaha Beach, Normandy, France0745... any hope is soon lost as the American companies are dashed against rock and lead across the beach. The situation at either end of the strand is bleak. In the east, one must look hard for a bit of hope. A small force has mustered and overrun the 88 position at WN61 in Dog Green. And, remarkably, the indomitable WN65 has been blunted by a brave run against the anti-tank defenses below the draw.But the remaining strength on Dog Green is pinned against the cliffs, pulled there by powerful currents. Other infantry companies in the eastern sector are in bad shape, pinned hard against the shingle, with the heroism of one GI all for naught. The armor is in shambles. A remarkable run of bad luck has obliterated several of them on the strand, while the few that remain have been wholly ineffectual in their barrages. The German defense is largely undisrupted in the east. (The game will conclude more than 20 turns later without a single effective barrage, and a mere three tanks companies surviving.)The west offers perhaps a shred more of promise.First Lieutenant Monteith has led an assault on WN66, clearing the German position and protecting the only armored company that would make it off the beach - and ultimately off the high ground! - intact. (Lieutenant Monteith would make it up the St. Laurent draw, leading repeated assaults against entrenched positions, until perishing in a brave assault on a German nest in the bocage. The story of that scrap of cardboard was eerily reminiscent of the valor and heroism of the real Jimmie Monteith, who perished more than 70 years ago at Omaha.)The arrival of the 116th HQ has organized the forces of Dog Red, and the survival of the Shermans and the arrival of the first heavy infantry of the 29th has given the punch more weight. St. Laurent may well be where the German line can be breached.The same cannot be said of Vierville and the far west. Smith and his rangers have managed to survive under the shelter of the cliffs, but the German fire is withering. General Cota has assessed the situation and rallied the remaining men to shelter under the sea wall and push back east toward Hamil-au-Pretre.0900With mid-tide lapping the heels of the men sprawled along the shingle, early plans have fallen apart. Much of the heavier equipment has been delayed while command waits to see if the GIs can gain purchase in France. Improvisation has taken over on the flanks.In the east, General Wyman has arrived. Taking a light wound himself (marking the first time I have ever had a general wounded in this game), he has lead men from the base of the Normandy cliffs to the heights above. There should soon be enough force in place to begin a sweep up from WN60 and along the east side of the Colleville draw. (In the event, the area just north of WN60 will see the bloodiest stalemate of the day ...)Meanwhile, the arrival of the first heavy infantry from the Big Red One has helped mass enough force to push up the slopes toward the heights of WN62.In the west, General Cota has moved forces away from the Vierville draw entirely, abandoning the beach to German fire. A small band of rangers has managed to scramble up the cliff and will see what damage can be done before trying to reach their original objectives in Pointe du Hoc.It is the center where the German strength has been overcome and a salient is e[...]

Session: The Invincible Armada 1588 AD:: Not so Invincible Armada?

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:41:16 +0000

by keraunos281

I've recently created a Vassal module for the game and I'm currently giving it a try as a solo game, at the same time testing my Solo Variant for the game.

20th July 1588, The Lizard [Turn 1]
English Attack & Spanish Counterattack [Tactical Move Phase]
N/A (English unengaged)

The Night [Reorganize and Reinforce Phase]
A single ship reinforces Howard's Squadron

The Dawn [Weather Adjustment] & The Unexpected [Event Chits]
As Spanish were approaching Eddystone Light, wind changed and now blew in Easterly direction. 4 English Squadrons took full advantage of the wind and set out to engage Spanish Armada next day. Fire broke out on Galleass Napolitana, and although put down, ship limped forward badly damaged.
(Weather: Normal, Easterly Wind; Strategic Movement: Armada moved forward, 4 English Squadrons moved in to engage.
Events: Spanish drew Walter Raleigh & Rapid Fire (both English Chits and thus passed on to English Player); English drew Hand of God & Critical Hit* – the latter immediately used on Spanish Moncada squadron)

Unbroken Squadrons / Strength:
Total Spanish: 10/99 (-1); Spanish Transports: 3/26
Total English: 5/54 (+1)

Session: Assassinorum: Execution Force:: Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up with current events, but we just got our asses kicked pal!

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:04:17 +0000

by ZombieMark My teenage son had a friend over yesterday. They decided to play a "Warhammer game." I have a bunch, but only one that is specifically designed to be a co-op game (instead of say, two players splitting the Marine force in Space Hulk). So, we set up and played Assassinorum.We've played the game a bunch. Knowing the game leans towards easy on the Assassins, we take three of them, instead of four. The game goes fairly smoothly. In fact, the Control Bank and Teleportarium came out relatively early. So, things were looking too easy. Somehow, enough Cultists and Marines showed up to slow us down enough that we did not kill of the evil Chaos Sorcerer Lord before we ran out of time. Wait! What? We've had close games, but never actually lost the game before. Um, OK, whatever.We set up again, switching around assassins. This time, maybe with a little more respect for the bad guys. This time, things got Kah-razy! First, let me reassure you, we aren't novices. This ain't our first Assassinorum rodeo. This time, the game played like is was possessed.It all started out routine. Spread out a little bit (but not too much) to search those first rooms. To keep the number of Cultists on the board to a minimum, don't reveal too many rooms at once. Except the Culexis has a Chaos Marine pop up in a corner close by. He dealt with it, but it took a while. Meanwhile, the Eversore and Vindicare assassins did not stray to far afield. Meanwhile, more Cultists entered the board. Nothing out of the ordinary. Except, another damn Chaos Marine immediately entered the board where the Culexis had just killed his fellow Marine. Dang! OK, no biggie, we know the drill. He spent more turns dealing with the renewed treat. We spent the time revealing more rooms. No luck. More Cultists. More Event cards. And, those enemy were consistently entering the board where we did not want them to be.We never lost sight of the forest for the trees. Despite the drag that was the Culexis dealing with the two Marines, we were making progress. With no success, as far as finding the two necessary rooms. Not wasting time killing Cultists. But, danged if they weren't unavoidable, and Alerting with increasingly alarming frequency. Before long, we were turning over up to 8 Event Cards. What the heck, Man!When the turn counter hit the halfway point (turn 9), we were falling behind. So, we upped our game and started getting going. And, I swear, so did the AI. More Alerted Cultist, more Event Cards, more bad guys. And, more of them showing up in all the wrong places at just the wrong time for us. Around turn 12, I swear, there was a coherent diagonal line of Cultists and Chaos Marines stretching from corner to corner. With our three assassins on one side, and the last unrevealed rooms on the other side. I could not have set that up better if I have been playing the AI myself. And, neither could you. It was stone-cold cra-cra, dude! We were out played by random game functions! It was maniacal.Left with little option, we tried to fight our way through to the other side. With predictable results. Three assassins don't go down easily. But, then again, the game doesn't normally deal itself just the right cards at just the right time. When we need to run, we could not Sprint. When we needed to kill, we could not shoot. When we needed to do a bunch of things, we could not activate twice. C'mon, Man!We tried everything. We used Tactics counters prolifically. Ain't no sense in dying with Tactics counters in r[...]

Session: Myth:: Stone of Life Act 1 (two players no Healer)

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:18:02 +0000

by Cuthailion

I played 'Stone' with a friend. I did not want to play the acolythe (have played him to often) and I did not want to push my friend to play him so we went hard mode:
Outsider (him) & Archer (me). In Act 1 we had to restart 4 times (!!!)

On our first try I played the apprentice (switched to archer after that). We were to greedy and wanted to loot the barrels and bookshelves as soon as possible. Not good... we got overwhelmed.

We decided to try again and go for the massive lair asap. Went pretty wel but the outsider got poisoned and we did not find an antivenom soon enough.

On our third try it went pretty smooth until we got to confident and risked me being on threat 8. We got Yardu (miniboss) and he conjured a Soulless. We did not last long.

But then we were convinced that we could do it and tried again. Also my friend got to know the deck of the Outsider pretty well by then and we had learned to handle AP and prepare for the darkness-cycle.

So on our third try we killed of the lair which had spawned 2 stalkers. One of those poisoned the outsider before it died. I raced (Sprint & Hustle) to the bookshelves, found an antidote and brought it to him (he survived with 1 HP).

We killed of the rest of the crawlers without problem (the 2nd Stalker was already dead).
We spend 1 Serendipty to call the merchant (Talek Three Dunes) and houseruled that he sells antivenoms instead of focuspotions and also that he had 2 of each potions in stock.

The rest of the act was quite easy.

Conclusion: You can play without a healer (ok... with the merchant-houserule). It's hardmode but fun...

Session: Mage Wars Arena:: WBC 2017 Mage Wars Arena Tournament Results

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:17:27 +0000

by wtcannonjr

The WBC Mage Wars Arena tournament completed its third year at the end of July. This was our second year at the new resort location for the convention located in Sevens Springs, PA. The convention runs 9 full days and is jammed full of tournaments, auctions, and open gaming. Here is a quick recap of the results for this year.

We had a new format using a Swiss style over 5 rounds (two on Thursday and three on Saturday). This allowed players to play as many rounds as they wanted rather than have to end competitive play based on a single elimination game. This change received only positive ratings from the players so we will keep this format for next year.

Arcane Wonders donated a fabulous mix of prizes in addition to the wooden Plaque that WBC awards to the winner. We had door prizes for each round and the top six finishers received expansions. The first place winner took home one of every Mage expansion and the Lost Grimoire Volume I!

Top 6 players for 2017
1. Chris Byrd - Beastmaster (4-0)
2. Brad McCandless - Warlock (3-2)
3. James Newsome - Wizard (3-2)
4. Vincent Sinigaglio - Priestess (4-1)
5. David Wolfe - Wizard (3-1)
6. David Rogozinski - Priestess (3-1)

Tournament points were awarded based on the standard scoring system with players ranked based on their total over 5 rounds. The tie breaker was the total score of opponents played to represent the toughest schedule.

Results from the 2016 event are located here Full reports for 2017 will be posted to on the convention archives in November.

AREA ratings for players of Mage Wars can be found at this location. This site currently has the 2015 and 2016 WBC results, but will be updated once I submit the WBC 2017 results.

Thanks to Arcane Wonders for their amazing support and to my Assistant GM - Frank Hastings.

Session: War of the Ring (Second Edition):: Austin War of the Ring Day 8: The Darkening of Valinor

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:17:12 +0000

by tallgrant This past weekend we celebrated our eighth War of the Ring party. We began this event when our group noticed that though we loved War of the Ring it was not getting to the table often enough. So we throw a hobbit-worthy feast for all our friends, and it has become a long expected party. We had 20 visitors who joined the party, and had 12 players with 6 games simultaneously.I’ve got a few notes from some of the more interesting matches that I have notes of. We had some other great games, but I can’t quite be everywhere at once. The GamesGame 3: Alan (Free Peoples) vs. Chris T (Shadow)This game featured one of the strangest role reversals- it was a marauding Free Peoples Army that terrorized Middle Earth, with the Shadow desperately working to hold them off. An early Free Peoples army developed in Minas Tirith. After a confidence boosting lifting of a siege in Dol Amroth (and despite a loss of Aragorn in Pelargir), the Gondor army cleared out all the Shadow forces and parked in Osigiliath, drawing Shadow attention to protecting both Umbar and Minas Morgul. In the meantime, the Shadow army at Helms Deep was nearly sidestepped by Rohirrim forces from Edoras. On a timely play of “A New Power is Rising” saved Orthanc from capture. An Elvish Army rose up in Lorien and besieged Moria. The Orcs inside were weventually rescued by play of Hill Trolls. The Elves then pushed North to again to threaten Mount Gundabad, and the Shadow desperately used more troop building cards to hold off the assault.Eventually the Free Peoples armies began to wear down. The Ring game went into effect, and the Fellowship entered Mordor with 4 companions. Unfortunately, the breaking of the Fellowship coincided with a draw of Shelobs lair, and all 4 companions were forced to separate and perished in the Black Land. The Free Peoples were unable to recover and the Shadow won the game.This game was notable for a few reasons: first, that the Free Peoples got the right recruitment cards to build powerful armies. Combined with miserable initial Shadow attacks, the Free Peoples were able to actively chase a military victory. The Shadow problems were compounded by several turns with lots of Eyes, which were countered by the Fellowship ignoring the quest for Mount Doom. The Shadow player played at least 4 reinforcement cards in locations either under siege by the Free Peoples, or directly in the path of an army. This game also lasted an astonishing 18 turns.Game 10: Grant (Free Peoples) vs. Alan (Shadow) This game was a textbook sprint. Despite adequate Hunt dice being present (often 3 per turn) and a useful play of Cruel Weather, The Fellowship was in Mordor on Turn 7. During this long sequence of failed Hunt Rolls, Gandalf drew 9 cards, Strider was crowned quickly in Minas Tirith, and the activities of Legolas in the Woodland Realm activated and advanced the Dwarves, Elves and Dwarves. The trip through Mordor was as easy a journey as possible (the Fellowship was revealed twice in the entire game), with a Ring dunk.I think Alan had the worst Hunt rolling I’ve ever seen. It was never that he missed allocating eyes- he just whiffed nearly every time. I may have completed the game on Turn 8 if he hadn’t had Cruel weather at the right moment.Game 12: Chris T (Free Peoples) vs. Laurie (Shadow)This game started as a nice walk for the Fellowship- the Shadow was extremely slow getting moving, and the Fellowship took a leisurely stroll through both Lorien[...]

Session: Eldritch Horror:: Dear Daisy: How are you? I am fine.

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:16:41 +0000

by zenshrugs DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this game was to playtest some homebrew ‘dead investigator’ rules. Because of this I didn’t worry about winning and instead tried to get investigators killed as quickly as possible. Needless to say, things escalated quickly… AO: good old Azathoth (bless his blind idiot socks)Expansions: 7 (everything released up to Cities in Ruin, because I am an Eldritch Horror nut)Preludes: NoStarting investigators (drawn randomly): Daisy Walker the librarian and, erm, Wendy Adams the urchin (sorry, kid)Let the madness begin! -----Dear Daisy,How are you? I am fine. Today I learned about other planets. My teacher was Mr Shan, who is a see-through bug that lives inside my brain. He tickles. I haven’t felt him around for a few days though. He told me off for not doing my homework and I said I don’t like scooping people’s eyeballs out with spoons, so he got annoyed and flew away. I think he might be going to Tunguska where he says there is a space rock that he likes to cuddle. Do you think I should investigate? Also he says the world will blow up soon. Sincerely,Wendy Adams, Space 16-----Dear Wendy,I don’t know who you are or how you found out my contact details, but I must warn you that you are in EXTREME DANGER. Don’t get involved. Don’t go outside. Let the grown-ups handle this. Of course, knowing what I was like at your age, I imagine you just stuck out your tongue at my letter. So when you do get to Tunguska, please keep an eye out for the Massa di Requiem per Shuggay. Admittedly meteor-flattened taiga is perhaps not the first place I would look for an 18th century Italian opera, but you never know. Certainly I’ve had no luck finding it here in Istanbul. At any rate, it can’t hurt to mention it. The safety of the world depends on it. Please be careful. And eat your greens. Regards,Daisy Walker, IstanbulPS: I apologise if I sound a little testy. Today a small furry creature materialised on my desk and ran off with the old journal I was trying to decipher. The beast was rather adorable, which I assumed was a transparent attempt to play on my feminine sympathies, so I locked it in the shed and burned the shed down. Sadly I failed to get my book back first. Perhaps I need to work on my anger issues. -----Dear Daisy, How are you? I am fine. Today I climbed down into the crater and touched the space rock. It was glowing and hurt my teeth when I bit it. There were some funny gadgets too (I think they belonged to Mr Shan) and oh yes I found a toy cuttlefish man!!! I have drawn a picture for you. He is green too but not very tasty. Maybe you meant something else? Your Russian is very good but anyone can make mistakes. There were some old papers too, all bundled up with a ribbon tied around them, but I didn’t bother with them because I like my cuttlefish man better. When I hold him I learn all kinds of things. Now I know about Mr Cthulhu who lives under the sea and Miss Shrub-Knickerbocker (did I spell that right?) who makes me feel a bit funny and all about Mr Shan’s friends who live in temples which are like big upside-down ice cream cones only evil. Also the world will definitely blow up soon. What should we do? Sincerely,Wendy Adams, Tunguska-----Dear Wendy, You stupid brat! Pardon my French. That must have been the Requiem! Right there! It was right there! Why did you take that grotesque excuse for a statue instead? What in God’s name possessed… Wai[...]

Session: MetaCheckers:: 2017 MetaCheckers Tournament at World Boardgaming Championships

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:15:26 +0000

by DreamGames More players test out tactics in MetaCheckersEnemy attacks exposed both kings in the early stages of the 2017 MetaCheckers final at the World Boardgaming Championships. Victory hung on which could reach safety.The showdown between Bradley Raszewski and Huston Johnson concluded a tournament with plenty of narrow escapes, “slugfests” and calculated defense. Players kept returning to heat after heat to get a chance at the final.Johnson had been eliminated in the third rounds of the First and Second Heats before finally winning the Fourth Heat to reach the Semi-Finals. He won that match against alternate Mark Love to face Raszewski for the championship.But when both king checkers lost their defenders in the final, Raszewski’s king made it back to a stronghold and Huston’s ultimately got trapped in a corner by two attackers. Raszewski of Pasadena, Maryland, finished him off with a Queen 6 roll.In MetaCheckers, checkers move like chess pieces based on a roll of special dice. One die has chess symbols. The other has standard pips to indicate numbers. Roll a king, pawn or knight, and the player can choose any checker to move as a king, pawn or knight. Roll a queen, rook or bishop, and the numbers die dictates how far a piece must move as a queen, rook or bishop. Players use these moves to try to capture the opponent’s king checker.In its second year at the WBC tournaments, MetaCheckers saw more players enter and more games played. Player starts jumped from 60 the previous year to 108 in 2017. Of the 31 players in this year’s tournament, nine played in the First Heat, 16 in the Second Heat, 12 in the Third Heat. “We brought you more players!” said Zarabeth Goddard at the start of the Fourth Heat, which had 20 entrants. Of those, 14 had played in earlier heats.“MetaCheckers is a fantastic game,” said Goddard, who had played in the 2016 tournament. “It’s great for all ages from 80 to 5. It’s a super easy game to learn.”To win the game, “think ahead, but not too far ahead,” she said.In the First Heat, Bradley Raszewski defeated his father, Steven with a Knight roll. That led to a game against Trevor Schoenen, which he won on a Bishop 6."He was very good," Bradley said of Trevor. Bradley had fallen behind on pieces and lost all but his king checker before the win.“It was quite exciting,” said Trevor, who finished in Fifth Place.Kevin Wojtasczyk won the Second Heat against the 2016 Second Place finisher, Mark Love. A Queen 6 won the game for Wojtasczyk after a long battle of attrition in which at the end Kevin had five pieces to Mark’s two.Brian Mountford, who had been the 2016 Third Place finisher, defeated 2016 champion Dalton Versak to win Heat Three. “He was in a strong position,” Brian said of Dalton. “But I got in the back row.”This left Versak’s king in a vulnerable position with an enemy piece in a spot difficult to attack. Multiple pawn rolls by Dalton doomed his king.Huston won Heat Four with a double-diagonal attack against Gordon Stewart. He had taken a piece protecting the king checker on the diagonal, and that had another piece backing it up on a diagonal line behind it. Stewart rolled a pawn, and his only choice was to use his king checker to capture the first attacking piece. Then Huston rolled a Bishop 6 and the second attacking piece took the king.Stewart finished in Sixth Place.Because of a schedule conflict,[...]

Session: Healthy Heart Hospital:: A day in the life of Healthy Heart Hospital

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:44:20 +0000

by ropearoni4 Healthy Heart was just given a new life. Once it was just on life support, ready to pull the plug. But you and a new staff of doctors have been given a chance by the community to turn it around. Doctors Smiles, Lucky, Colde, and Dream, and I, their Administrator Mr. Duronger are this hospital's last hope. If we can't get it out of the red, it is going to be scrapped for a new parking structure for the new mall.Day 1.The first day was semi- casual, not a lot of problems to overcome. We were given are areas to work in, a modest budget, and the medical equipment to perform most normal things that would come up. There are plans for extra rooms, but until we can make a profit, it would be like throwing good money into a bad investment. The wards for various illnesses have been set up, some with some odd circumstances for them to exist at all. The entire Contagious Disease ward is in very bad shape, and if admitted, the patient would be lucky to not just slowly get worse. Like-wise the Psychic ward is in shambles, and the only saving grace it has, it that for some unknown reason, patients have been known to take longer to heal, but never get worse. Another ward is linked to research. Those are a few of the particulars in the wards. In any rate, just after the Hospital staff is ready and set in for the long haul, the ambulances start arriving.A mad rush of patients from an accident on Main Street causes a few patients to arrive in the waiting room. Due the effects of the new patients, a couple of Psych patients start to stir up the others, and get worse. "We need to get that patient in STAT, or he might not be there when his time comes", I think to myself. But, the other doctors disagree, and start admitting more serious injured patients into the wards. "I'll get that guy from the mental ward soon," I mumble out of earshot of the doctors. "I am the administrator after-all, so that should account for something. If not, maybe I can work on some experiments of my own..." my mind drifts off.One by one, the patients file in to the Waiting Room via triage by the doctors to where they believe they should go. The next step was for me to check on the existing patients, to make sure they were not just sitting around waiting to die. With all the commotion in the Triage Center, a lot of the current patients might not get the care they need. Ward by ward, I check on the current occupants. One by one, I see and sense a few are getting worse, and one lands in the morgue on my visit. "These doctors need to take care of the current patients, not just the new ones", my head starts to spin in thoughts. "How can I keep this place afloat?"After a quick meeting, to take care of the concerns I had of the current patients, the doctors, now with a little more umph! in their steps, go about working on moving and healing the injured, curing the sick, and diagnosing the rest. A few of the doctors have caught a lucky streak and were able to send a couple patients home, with a nice bill; also freeing up a desired location in two of the Infirmary wards: a bed. Dr Colde has his hands full with a very full Contagious disease ward, with no time to do much else. Dr Lucky seems to be more concerned with the bodies that appear to be piling up in the halls. With no place to go, some patients are left in the hallway until they can get them into a room. After a few more patients s[...]

Session: Spirit Island:: Playing 3 Sprits solo OR My brain hurts but I'm having fun!

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:03:40 +0000

by skutsch So I assigned myself the task of playing 3 spirits solo because I needed to prove I'm macho and I don't own a Harley. (Will the Hell's Angels let me in their clubhouse now?)Actually, I did more than just sit down with 3 spirits. I--an inexperienced Islander, only 5 games under my belt--decided to also add in an adversary and the expansion, which I hadn't used yet. Beasts and disease and events oh my!((Note: I took pictures but how exactly stuff went down is from memory, and my memory ain't good people.))The Set up:I'm playing Thunderspeaker, River Surges in Sunlight, and A Spread of Rampant Green. I decided it would be nice to have River, who can create new Dahan, mixed with Thunder, who likes to use Dahan. Green just seemed like weird fun.My adversary is Prussia, level 1. This means he starts with extra towns and he'll get some extra towns during Stage 2 of the invasion.Also I've added in all the tokens and the Events. It's the whole tamale.Here we are in the middle of turn 1. Thunder is Yellow, River is Blue, Green is Purple (which is weird):Early daysI'm doing ok. I'm playing wack-a-mole with Invaders and keeping them mostly in check. The one guy who's less able to do his bit is Green, and that's probably my own mismanagement. Then (turn 3?) this Event happened:Rising interest in the Island gives me a choice to accept a shorter game with a few extra towns OR pay some energy to get rid of one fear card, thereby making a fear win easier AND making a regular win easier because the victory conditions will change 1 fear round sooner. I opt to spend the stuff. I have a few cards in hand that I think are worth selling and the idea of a shorter game seems scary to me. Note that I also get a few extra beasts on the board. This is what the literature professors calls "foreshadowing," because...Turn 4 (I think) I go BeastialGreen gets this card, and man I'm happy.Right away I'm able to chomp down on some nasty invader dudes. This is going to be a regular thing. Up until now, Green hasn't had a good kill spell. Now we got kitties and invaders have become their new favorite cat chow.Adding to the feeding frenzy, over the course of the game I get two "Beasts Attack" event results, so even more invaders go down tiger gullets. Finishing the jobI'm in pretty good shape midway thru Stage 2. I've cleared invaders out of much of the Island, especially River's territory. He got the very cool card "Vigor of the Breaking Dawn." This allows Dahan to do 2 damage each, and since I'd created a 4 Dahan stack in the biggest invader clump, that was sweet. But wait, there's more! I had the Icons to be able to take advantage of the card's extra ability to move and do another attack on a neighboring stack. And that's not all: I got to do this double blitzkrieg TWICE!(That upper left coastal wetlands used to have a city, two towns, and an explorer. Used to. Along with the neighboring jungle that used to have 1 town and an explorer. Used to.)I was also helped by a fear card that let me skip an entire phase ("Explorers are Reluctant"). The price was having the next invader draw being a double, but I think that was well worth it. I was really keeping his growth in check.A final push after we hit fear level 3 allowed me to (just barely) kill his last two cities along the border of Green and River. The Dahan made it possible with a "Reclaim terri[...]

Session: Terraforming Mars:: First campaign of Terraforming the Solar System

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:02:42 +0000

by Ispher This is my first solo game in my first campaign of Terraforming the Solar System (rules can be found in the Variants forum).Starting tiles - AI Central (21): 1st city on Juventae Chasma. Restricted Area (11): 2nd city on Ritchey. Water Import from Europe (25): Greenery on Ophir Chasma. Permafrost Extraction (8): Greenery on Lassell. Two of the best card-drawing cards gone and the whole east of the map blocked for cities. Not a good start.Research: Giant Space Mirror, Extreme-Cold Fungus, Nitrite-Reducing Bacteria, Bribed Committee, Magnetic Field Generators, Farming, Research, Space Station, Noctis Farming, Industrial Center.I see no power card here. A weak Extreme-Cold Fungus/Nitrite-Reducing Bacteria that gives a few points and income over time, but doesn’t help with terraforming and not much else. To mitigate this weak starting hand, I need a strong corporation. I choose Ecoline and keep the first 4. 36-12 = 24 MC left.1st generation: play Giant Space Mirror (-17 MC, +3 Ep) + Bribed Committee (-7 MC, 16TR). I don’t even play my combo in the first turn because I prefer gaining some income and production.2nd generation, income 16 MC: 16 MC, 5P, 3E. Research: Nitrogen-Rich Asteroid, Nuclear Zone, Methane from Titan, Fish. I keep Nuclear Zone and Nitrogen-Rich Asteroid, hoping for 2 quick plant tags. 10 MC left. Play Nuclear Zone (-10 MC, -26°C, 18TR), play the tile on Arsia Mons (+2P). Play a Greenery on Pavonis Mons (-7P, +1P, +1T, 1%O, 19TR).3rd generation, income 19 MC: 19 MC, 1T, 3P, 3E, 3H. Research: Deep Well Heating, Flooding, Energy Saving, Grass. 13 MC left. Play Deep Well Heating (-13 MC, -24°C, +1Ep, +1Hp bonus, 20TR).4th generation, income 20 MC: 20 MC, 1T, 5P, 4E, 7H. Research: Research Outpost, Aquifer Pumping, Solar Wind Power, Subterranean Reservoir. 14 MC left. Play Flooding, putting a sea on Ius Chasma (-7 MC, +2P, 21TR). Play a Greenery on Noctis Labyrinthus (-7P, +2P, 2%O, 22TR).5th generation, income 22 MC: 29 MC, 1T, 4P, 4E, 12H. Research: Regolith Eaters, Deimos Down, Interstellar Colony, Rad-Suits. Now I found a better combo for my Extreme-Cold Fungus! I even ditch the very good Deimos Down to be able to play my combo right away. 26 MC left. Play Regolith Eaters (-13 MC) and Extreme-Cold Fungus (-13MC). Actions on both cards to raise oxygen one step: 3%O, 23TR. Ironically I get the combo while playing Ecoline, which needs help in raising Oxygen the least. Raise Temperature (-8H, -22°C, 24TR).6th generation, income 24MC: 24MC, 1T, 6P, 4E, 9H. Research: Lava Flows, Advanced Alloys, Lake Marineris, Imported GHG. Advanced Alloys is so good, I keep it even though I don’t produce any metal yet and possess only a meager 1 Titanium. 18 MC left. Actions on my 2 microbe cards to raise Oxygen (3%O, 25TR). Raise Temperature (-8H, -20°C, +1Hp bonus, 26TR). Play Lava Flows, placing its tile on Tharsis Tholus (-18 MC, -16°C, 28TR, +1S).7th generation, income 28MC: 28MC, 1S, 1T, 8P, 4E, 7H. Research: Vesta Shipyard, Advanced Ecosystems, Toll Station, Rover Construction. Finally some metal production! 25 MC left. Actions on my 2 microbe cards to raise Oxygen (5%O, 29TR). Play Advanced Alloys (-9MC) and Vesta Shipyard (-11 MC, -1T, +1Tp). Play Greenery on Uranius Tholi (-7P, 6%O, 30TR, +2S).8th generation, income 30MC: 35MC, 3S, 1T, 3P, 4E, 13H. Research: Fuel Factory[...]

Session: Renegade:: Viking invites Tilda for Christmas...

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:01:45 +0000

by SolarJ .... with clockwork toys, a palace and a flood in the kitchen.What follows is a session report with thoughts interspersed. I may no apology for the constant use of game jargon, which has become a guilty pleasure to absorb and recount.TildaI've waited to use Tilda till last, feeling that the data nodes and ports were the weaker of the contaminates. The limitations of the starting deck surprised me for Tilda, where initial plays were limited to dissolving spark concentration, utilising data nodes and Tilda's spark carrying power to mitigate the chance Viking forming guardians rather than any powerful spark clearing powers.The HotmessThen the 10 new Christmans as the Hack Shack cards turned out to make deck building a hot mess. A couple of early livewire voodoo plus a pied piper, left me with very few deception or cognition in my deck, motivated in part by trying to complete the first countermeasure Clockwork Plague, added to the addition of a sidekick and a couple of EMPs it seemed like destruction was the order of the day. The second countermeasure Hackers Palace allowed an easy early data port and propagator on Faith, then my deception and cognition were thinned further by using up my trickery master and memory steal for a Christmas tree, that sadly I was never in a position to utilise the execute command for. I did manage to teleport, EMP and sidekick a whole server clear before getting a further cheap propagator on Virtue.By the third countermeasure Flash Flood I was in a bit of a pickle. Ginger cool saved me from getting a guardian on Salvation but there were double sparks everywhere, including my home server Justice. Some chaining of more dual purpose cards from the shack (data shift into vulnerability scanner into project consciousness) allowed me to teleport my data port to Justice and generate the data nodes needed to link the short hop to Faith's access node for the final turn. Then I rolled Justice twice for sparks, which were immediately attracted to the access point spark added by flash flood creating my first guardian right on my access point. All my set up was wiped out!The final turn had some serious analysis paralysis. Tilda had enough move to carry some spare data nodes and place them to plug the gap as well as move to the guardian and Faith's access point, satisfying the Flash Flood, but I still needed to clear the guardian if I wanted to succeed. The Hack shack was pretty dire with a hologram, nydam ship, black market and dancing pig. A desperate purchase of the black market revealed microbionix and console cowboy, a blowout purchase of microbionix then allowed the chain purchase of console cowboy to delete the guardian. Lucky!With the SMC's last gasp, Viking created two guardians on Salvation and Freedom. A final score of 4+3+15+75=97. Solid Victory.The final board state with deck composition:Hackers delight?This game is a constant surprise. The restrictions I envisioned with Tilda neatly guided me into a different style of play that lasted all of one turn before the Christmas Hack shack addon completely skewed my deck composition into a destruction/leadership junkie. With some tricky play it was possible to maintain control over 3 servers (Faith, Justice, Virtue) but not without Viking smashing my access point as a final play.This was [...]

Session: Triumph & Tragedy:: Pax Germanica

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:01:08 +0000

by Klausenburgischer

This was a short and educational game for the Allies and the Soviets and a very sweet victory for the Axis. I was playing the Soviets, Tim was playing the Allies and Huba was playing the Axis.

It all started out when the Axis went out with a spectacular diplomatic onslaught from the beginning in 36 and got many triple cards and countries in their sphere of influence. This usually happens and the West and the Allies usually have a hard time in the beginning so we were just building our industry and first units not doing much. Second and third turn the Axis continued with the diplomatic onslaught and building his economy but it is usual to have that early in the game both the Soviets and the Allies were happy to prepare for the late war (which never came but we did not know). As we were about to divide up the map enough so that some war declarations would be in order, at the very beginning of 41 the Axis announced it won by points. First 2 turns it drew 2+2 peace dividends and decided to go that route the next 3 years drawing two 1s and one 0. At 19 pop+ind with peace this was enough for the game.

I guess this is rare as the chances of drawing these peace dividends is small, it can happen and the telltale sign is a continued diplomatic assault by the Axis. At this point both the Allies and the Soviets have to immediately start spending more diplomacy card or just declare war on the Axis activating its resources as the lowest point. We did not do that thinking that a slow moving Axis player is sure prey in the late game (which it is) ... and we lost. The Axis won the hearts&minds without any bullets fired.

Session: Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo Game – June 18th, 1815:: La Haye Sainte scenario with revised WV system

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:42:57 +0000

by JasonC I will be doing a play through session report on the La Haye Sainte (aka "D'Erlon's Attack") scenario from original Wellington's Victory, using my substantially revised version of the game system, which I recently discussed on the consimworld forum about the game. I will post some of the relevant rule changes here as well. The intent is to introduce the whole system with a relevant and extended example, from the most iconic part of the battle of Waterloo.This scenario pits 5 French infantry divisions - 4 from D'Erlon's I corps and 1 Bachelu's division from II corps attached to it for this fight - and 3 cavalry divisions - 2 heavy divisions of Cuirassiers in a separate cavalry corps and 1 light division organic to I corps - with all their guns assembled in a grand battery, against the center of the Anglo Allied line. Historically this attack culminated in the grand countercharge of the British heavy cavalry, which broke the attacking French infantry and saved the Allied center.The Anglo Allies have a mixed force, that equals the attacking French in numbers - a bit more actually - but with uneven quality across its many nationalities. The Allied cavalry is considerably stronger, with 5800 horse almost all of excellent quality (only 1000 Dutch Belgian cavalry 3s, 600 British elite 6s and the rest all 5s) vs 4700 French (3300 heavy 5s and 1400 light 4s), and they even have more guns just spread across more smaller batteries not all of them initially in the line, whereas the French 74 guns are all formed initially into one grand battery just south of the Brussels road, about half a mile from the Allied positions.The Allied infantry includes 4 British and 1 King's German Legion brigades of good quality, 3 Hanoverian brigades which are mostly militia though 1 is better, and 2 Dutch Belgian brigades, one mostly militia (3 of 5 battalions) and the other solid and large Naussauers, but with a lot of ground to cover. 400 KGL skirmishers hold the La Haye Saint farmhouse area ahead of the main line, while the Nassauers hold the southern end also thrown forward.I have adjusted some of the unit quality levels from the original, and I need to explain those changes here. Basically all the non-British infantry formations with 5 morale become 4s, and the non British, non KGLs with 4 morale become 3s. This reduces the morale of the single non-militia Hanoverian and all the Dutch Belgians except their 3 militia battalions that were 2 to begin with. No units reduce their morale for being in line. In addition, the few British artillery batteries given 6 morale are changed to 5 like the rest.Only one adjustment is needed to initial unit strengths - the 3rd battalion of the French 108th line regiment in Bachelu's division should be an initial "3" not the "5" it is given in the original. It was really only half a battalion, and even the "3" strength is a rounding up of about 250 men.The rules for detaching skirmishers are that the KGL light and Dutch jagers battalions (both originally 5 morale) can send out any number of skirmishers, as can the British 95th light battalion; all other non-militia Allied battalions are limited to a single skirmish company. There are 2 French light battalions (5 initial morale) that can l[...]

Session: The Greatest Day: Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches:: Campaign Game #2 (Full Compaign) - Juno/Gold Sector 1500 June 6th

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:41:03 +0000

by dgries

For an update regarding why this full campaign session report is only for Juno/Gold, please see preceding session report titled "Campaign Game #2 (Full Campaign) Update - Sword/Orne Sector 1700 June 7th AAR"

At Juno beach, the Canadians continued to make progress. The 3 remaining German Wn fortifications are almost surrounded and defeat/surrender is inevitable. The 27th Arm. Reg. of the 2nd Canadian Arm. Bgde. (Sherbrooke Fusiliers) with 3 companies of Fireflies (armed with their quite effective British 17 pounders) continued to move up the left side - moving right next to an inland Wn fortification with others continuing on toward Beny-sur-Mer. Intelligence reports indicated several dug in German defenders in the hedgerows just outside of town.

With no communications from the German entrenched defenders on Juno, Colonel Krug relocated his command post to be within range of the beach - it was becoming clear this was no diversionary invasion.

At Gold beach another German fortification was destroyed and Allied infantry continued to move up to create a beachhead. The Allied Armor was still delayed with bottlenecks, marshy areas and stubborn German defenders. Previously, an Allied company occupied a prime observation point, and was now ready to call in Naval gunfire. German front line units frantically created small rearguard detachments to slow down the advance. Further to the Southwest, KG Meyer moved up through Bayeux and started preparations for a defense line along the lengthy ridge running due South from the coast - where prime hedgerow positions would be ideal to set up concealed defenses.

On both beaches, German artillery continued to harass the Allies - although progress was being made moving off the beach, vulnerable Allied units (especially infantry) were still spotted and intermittent barrages laid down. 2 companies of Engineers from the 352.Inf.Div continued to lay down mines and create fortifications behind the lines for anticipated key Allied objectives (Port-en-Bessin and Seminaire de Bayeux).

The Allied leaders frantically tried to reach the Navy to bombard identified positions. Alas, it was not to be - the Naval chit was the last drawn. Good news/bad news for Allies - although a turn was missed, the Allies can now begin the next turn with an all out barrage. This will create better opportunities to advance, and will lower the morale and effectiveness of German counter fire for the entire turn.

Chit draw:

Session: Gloomhaven:: The Five - Session EIght - Spoilers

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:40:56 +0000

by tal342 Session 8 – Magic of the EclipseHeading out to follow the directions we came upon a flock of birds that look to be good eating. However, we had just dined well that morning and decided to let them pass unmolested. It turned out to be a good decision as the birds appeared to be more of a trick of perspective and we soon were glad that we had not accosted the flock of Wyverns. We arrived at the temple and saw an awesome sight. The very fabric of Magic was being shifted, Light and Dark were completely ascendant in the temple as they constantly extinguished the other elements in their need to predominate the arena. Furthermore, there was obviously some strong but evil magic in play as demons of Sun and Night, who were obviously fueled by these elements, quickly took offense at our intrusion. “I think it would be good to apply maximum force” said Violet and Rattata almost simultaneously! “They look like heavy hitters” said Quantaro, “I’ll set up for maximum healing.”Etan, as he usually did, took point and stepping up took some heavy damage. Violet cast a few spells and then pointing to a spectacular Crystal suggest that she would jump over the pillars and pick it up. It was obviously an item of power in this Temple. Quantaro and Etan continued the fight as Violet and Rattata moved swiftly forward. Rattata opened the door to the next room and saw a trio of Stone Golems. “Backing up” he said. “Those golems are big but slow. What worries me is those Cannon in the next room. Don’t want to play with the stone boys while getting blasted.”“Let’s run in and take out the Artillery.” Said Violet. “You guys sucker the dumb Golems into this room and we’ll just leave them behind.” Violet and Rattata proceeded to run to the Artillery and attempt to silence them. Rattata must have really been doing his exercises as he pushed on of the cannons through three separate traps, clearing the way toward the door. Then he returned to the golems and pushed one of them to unblock the door. “I thought they would never move.” The rest of the party then ran past the lumbering stone hulks and we got ready to enter the inner chamber. Quantaro picked up another object of power as he approached, this one a completely black sphere. “Hope this come in handy.” Opening the door, we saw the Colorless, a giant Savvas, standing between two massive elementals. He stood by an altar and seemed to be prepared to summon more. He chest pulsed with light and dark seeming to make him impervious to some of our more sophisticated attacks. “Looks like brute force for this one and lots of it.”“If we can defeat it, the demons will probably leave.”“What about those objects of power?” “Smash them against the altar, that should give him something to pay attention to.” We weren’t sure how we got this information, but decided to act on it. Violet shattered the Crystal and it was evident that it damaged the Colorless. “We have to suck up the Light and Dark or he can summon more Demons!” Violet shouted as her spell removed the Light and used it in her attack.”“That’s easy for you to say, but how? We don’t ha[...]

Session: Talon:: WBC Talon Tourney AAR

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:50:58 +0000

by mpowers As submitted for the World Boardgaming Championships' 2017 yearbook:Welcome to the Talonverse! Many fleet captains enacted the unsung battles of the Great Terran-Talon War of 2227. These fleet actions were largely skirmishes of border attrition: quick strikes to sink the enemy command ship in each sector.All rounds were Priority Target Missions. The goal was to destroy the enemy flagship and retreat your own flagship, and otherwise destroy as many escort ships as possible. The first two rounds saw fleets of two to three ships on a side, either two heavy cruisers, one of which designated as a flagship, or a battlecruiser with small escorts. Starting in the third round, fleets could add either more escorts to their command ship, or introduce a dreadnought or battleship as their new command ship. After that, the field was reduced to a final four captains in a final three matchups.In one sector, two famed fleet captains of similar background and experience met in a rocky patch of space: Terran Captain Jordan Kehrer against Talon Commander David Edelstein. Both had similar records in combat, and in another eerie parallel, each commanded a newly commissioned battleship, each accompanied by a cruiser and pair of destroyer escorts. That’s where the similarities ended. The Terrans, seeing the Talon fleet deployment bunched near a spread of asteroids, split their fleet to attack around both sides of the debris field, both groups in a spread formation to avoid the worst of the dread area-effect Talon fusion cannon. The Talon sent the escorts to defend their flank and sped their battleship to joust the Terran battleship, each crippling the other. After all the weapons were spent, a lone Talon destroyer accelerated into range and launched missiles which none of the Terran ships could stop. The missiles slowly but silently glided into the Terran battleship’s unshielded hull, delivering another victory for the Talon.In an adjacent sector, the young Terran Captain Caedmon Armstrong faced the feared and undefeated veteran Talon Commander John Coussis. The Terrans fielded a battleship and a pair of cruisers against the dread Commander Coussis’ formidable dreadnought escorted by a light cruiser and two destroyers. As the Talon encircled a gaseous stretch of rocks, the Terran commander employed an unorthodox strategy, turning his ships away from the Talon fleet and speeding away from the terrain. The Talon engaged all afterburners to close the distance when the Terran fleet powered a high energy turn to face their pursuers. The Terran battleship lined up a shot with its powerful wave motion cannon, and missed. The Talon returned fire, destroying the Terran heavy cruiser, but the Terran battleship overran and destroyed the Talon light cruiser with a phaser barrage. In the resulting wheeling and chaotic melee of painstakingly critical moves, the Talon Commander made a miscalculated maneuver that the young Terran Captain was quick to exploit, crippling the dreadnought and winning the sector in an upset.Terran Captain Caedmon Armstrong had no time to celebrate. Talon Commander David Edelstein rushed into the sector for a final battle to bre[...]

Session: Scythe:: First session notice!

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:50:43 +0000

by Soulless

Played my first session of Scythe last night with 4 players and enjoyed it very much!
None of us knew really what we were doing and strategies was...shortsighted at best, for lack of better words.
But the game was very easy for everyone to pick up and explaining the rules much easier then most games I've tried teaching! Within a few goes, everyone was playing like they knew it by heart!

I won't go into details since there is little to describe that isn't already done so here, but Ive read some less impressed people claim that war and conflict isn't a part of this game and to that I want to retort.

Its true that Combat in itself is not what the game is about, and you might play several games without combat being a big part of your success or downfall (though I expect with more players, it unlikely).
But it can definitely be important and lead to both of the above!
I was focusing on production and upgrading that I really didn't notice that the player to my left was building her power and stack of combat cards until it was too late.
When she made her move and pushed me back into my starting corner I was more or less besieged there. She kept the mainland territories and had me far outmatched in both power and combat cards and there just wasn't anything I could do!

By the time I've built up enough power to strike back and move inwards it was too late to make up for the time id lost and soon the game was over!

The warmongering woman won the game, though one other player was surprisingly close in coins at the end, and myself and the fourth player came far below. But the best thing is that in no way do I feel cheated, I put myself in that position. In retrospect I probably had several "turns" to notice what was going on had I paid attention but I was too focused on my own faction and that came back to hurt me!

I always enjoy a good game, and feeling this way while losing is a sign of a very good game! Its only my first play of course but at the very least I can say that if this game is on the table its time well spent!

Session: Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection:: Vive le France

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 15:50:18 +0000

by Klausenburgischer

This was a fairly short game, the starting maneuvers involved the French giving all their money to the Patriots that spread out their militia and gained control, and as a repayment to their French allies killed a British cube. Winter came and because the British were behind on the casualties they got more money. They also had no blockaded cities so money-wise they were very well off, gave some money to the Indians that spread out with multiple gathers. The Indians tried to reduce Opposition with raiding and were partially successful.

A critical moment came when Gage attacked Washington in Massachusetts - we have not read the rules carefully on the defensive value of the Forts and previously we have not counted them with the cubes - now we did it correctly and the 2 forts in Massachusetts performed well. The British took 9 losses to 4 American losses so the CBC became large enough for a French victory. Also the win of the day took the Opposition well above the 10+ compared to Support. The Indians and the Brits did everything to reduce the Opposition and managed to barely get it under the 10+ level but winter was fast approaching and so was the French entry into the war, that happened just before winter - managing to blockade New York, drop support again by 4 and fulfill all French conditions. The Patriots were a bit behind because of the numerous Indian villages - so the French took the win home.

Session: Quartermaster General: 1914:: Watch what happens when Germany is treated with kid gloves

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:03:53 +0000

by Norbert Chan Trevor was Austria Hungary, I was Russia, Don was Germany, Jean was France while Craig was UK. Trevor builds a navy into the Adriatic, I build into Ukraine, Don plays Mustard Gas, Jean is ready to play France Mobilizes and I tell him that he has to build into Rome. With Jean still hesitating, I raise my voice and tell him that we have played out this scenario before, and the Entente will lose if they give up Rome on turn 2. I regret raising my voice, but Jean discards 2 cards to draft a build Italian army card. I should have said “Do you mind if I give you some advice?” Craig plays the Sinking of the Lusitania.Trevor builds into Galacia. I use an event card build into Poland and attack unsuccessfully into Galacia. Don builds into Belgium. Jean plays France mobilizes, building into Picardy, and a fleet in the North Sea. Craig builds a fleet into the English Channel. Trevor attacks Ukraine, but I hold it, and I build into Prussia. Don plays Place in the Sun to take Picardy. Jean battles into Western Germany but is not successful. Paris is a Schlieffen plan away from being occupied.The score is 7-7 after the first scoring round. Trevor uses his second and last land battle to successfully battle me in Ukraine, so I can’t hassle Germany. I rebuild in Ukraine. Don can’t put the finishing blow into Paris. Don turns his attention to me in Prussia and I get attacked twice. I turn away from the Prussian front and expand into Azerbaijan, via a fleet in the Black Sea. With Germany’s attention on me, this allows UK and France to claw back into Picardy and Belgium. In the second scoring round it is Central 15-Entente 17. Late in the game, after Trevor had an event card to attack the French army out of Romania, I played Russia mobilizes to occupy Romania, and occupy Poland, which slowed the Central powers down. The third scoring round was Central 26, Entente 30. With France now secure, it is a matter of mopping up. The fourth scoring round is Central 35, Entente 43, and the Central resign; I can play Peace, Land and Bread for another 4 VPs.Central powers resign after the Western Front is secured by France and UK.Game 2: Jean is Austria Hungary, I am Russia, Trevor is Germany, Don is France and Craig is UK. Jean builds a navy into the Adriatic, I play Russia mobilizes building into Ukraine and Poland, Trevor plays an event card allowing him to end the turn with Big Bertha, an army built in Belgium and 2 prepared cards. Don builds in Italy. Craig has an event card allowing him to build fleets in the English Channel and the Western Med. Jean builds into Tyrol, I build into Prussia, Trevor is now into Picardy and attacks Paris successfully. Don plays 17th plan to build in Paris and attack successfully back into Picardy. Craig builds into Picardy. On turn 3, Craig plays an event card to build into the Eastern Med, and build an army into Istanbul, surprising everyone at the table. After the first scoring round it is Central 6, Entente 9. Jean builds into Berlin to protect Germany. I have an event card to build into Galacia and attack [...]

Session: Triumph & Tragedy:: Borderlands and strategic depth

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:12:01 +0000

by Klausenburgischer This was a game in which I played the Soviets, Tim played the Allies and Huba played the West.I rolled out a new aggressive Soviet strategy to knock some point off the Axis initial deiplomatic onslaught. I built infantry and air ready to strike the Baltics and Finland immediately. I waited one turn and then on the next turn I got the Baltics, went into Finland and in a quite spectacular 2 years I gained the Baltics, Finland, Sweden and Norway kicking out Axis influence and denying him 4 resources and 1 pop. Resources hurt the Axis the most so this was a pre-emptive move. Also getting the Baltics and Finland as buffers slows down the Axis before Leningrad - if I'm lucky they get bogged down in a fight for nothing, if I'm even luckier they don't even try. Meanwhile the Allies were doing a bit of this and that fortifying Paris getting units in India strong and building a bit of Industry. It looked like we will be able to stop the Axis from winning this time.My idea of winning at this point was that I will win on points as I choke the Axis out of resources I definitely deny him Leningrad and I will gain enough pop by the end of the game to get the most points. I don't know why I feel like this with the Soviets every time, the military victory seems so far away with Delhi tucked away behind mountains and Berlin far behind Poland - a huge neutral that I do not wish to partition much less offer up for Axis intervention. Even if I have the North I can get into Denmark but past that? 1 3 pip unit through the straits into the Ruhr with a massive fortress? Or seaborne Berlin? did not seem feasible. The military option I see feasible is Delhi+Rome but even that is so hard for the Soviets. So I was set on gathering points denying as much as possible to the Axis and winning in the end on the points. It did not help that the only 2 turns I took peace dividends they were both 0.The Axis was trying to limit my entry into the Balkans and blockade the West in the Med. I conceded Persia in an earlier year to the West - as the forts were not immediately defeated I entered into it to partition it and gained Tabriz. This was very important as it gave a buffer zone to Baku it was near impossible now for the West to use first fire surprise on me on a sneak attack into Baku. Then came 1940 and the Axis did a surprise move on Marseilles and took it and then proceeded to roll up the entire French defense and take Paris. I took the opportunity and knocked out 1 Western influence from Turkey and invaded it. My invasion took a while to complete but nobody could intervene so finally I got it.I needed Turkey for the points for the route into the Balkans (Romania was a German protectorate at this point and I did not want to give the Axis a 2 pip unit for free).The Allies reaction to this at the end of the summer when I had Turkey and I was ready to hit the Axis in the Balkans and deny at least 4 resources to the Axis knocking off their production was to re-position troops in Persia.I think this was the crucial point in the game. Had the We[...]

Session: Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star:: Photo Finish?

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 01:42:41 +0000

by Purple Prose Very tight game just concluded in spectacular fashion, but it left the winner wondering if what he did was allowed.Now, I'll get to the rules question in the minute, but I think the dramatics of the finale are worth recounting.Player 2 (Swamp/Krembler/Sorrow) has two piercing missiles and 14 vp. He's been trying to kill everyone the whole game, and its finally starting to work, but a bit late. He now probably needs to kill player 3 and 4 to win.Player 3 (Ghost/Gaiden/Phoenix) has been counting on invulnerability and speed to run missions and keep a lead the whole game, but recently got taken out by player 2 (with a hold full of cargo) bringing the scores into some parity. He has new cargo, a new mission, and 17 vp.Player 4 (Tiger/Mech) started out sifting debris for sale in nearby Loath, but switched half to combat when the enforcer ended up making that his permanent home. He had a slow start, but the transition turned his game around completely; he has 6 kills and is suddenly at 17 vp, but his ship is the least advanced of any of the players. He is also low on energy.Player 1 is a miner/explorer, and has fallen a bit behind at 13 vp with no way to make a big swing. Player 2 is up, and is about equidistant between players 3 and 4 - he decides 4 is a much easier kill (plus will give him a title for "Avenger") so goes that way and rolls terribly. 3 piercing missile shots (d8, d12, d12-1) and a d12 particle beam all add up to only 5 damagePlayer 3 completes his mission and sells his cargo, coming up to 19 vp. Plenty of money, but can't buy his last vp, so gets a new mission and new cargo. Turns out either one will give him an easy point next turn for the win.Player 4 is about to start his turn when we remember the Scoundrel (who goes 3.5) Player 4 killed him last turn, so he slipped our mind. Well, wouldn't you know it...Scoundrel spawns right next to player 4. No biggie, though, just a d8 blaster against 2d6 shields. Well, make that 2d6-2...shield was the one outfit player 4 decided to damage when his hold space ran out. Scoundrel rolls 8, player 4 rolls 1 and 3 - 6 damage. Leaves him with 2 undamaged (engine) spaces, 1 energy, and 2 activations.Player 4 no longer has any hope of reaching the planet with his mission turn in...unless he jumps the planetary shield. He goes for it, rolls a5...but he still has 1 energy and a TacX reroll. Gets through on the second roll, turns in mission to get to 18vp, and now it turns out he has 12,000 credits. Apparently he'd been saving up. He goes to the business phase, repairs his ship (now has 11,000), sells 2 level 1 outfits (13,000) buys a vp (8000 and 19vp) and then upgrades his ship for the final vp and the win. It was an awesome finish, but he was like "can I really do that?" We concluded yes. You guys think we got it right?To clarify the questions:1. Can you sell outfits to scrounge together the money to get a winning ship upgrade? Are you required to keep any outfits at all (player 4 kept his engine, for the record)2. Can [...]

Session: Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game:: Second game, now following all the rules...

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:40:23 +0000

by kazozza

My second session with this game opened up with my noticing of a glaring error on my part from last time: solo play is played with TWO adventurers, not just one (the poor Monk...). Thus, the unbeateable team of The Wild Hunter and the Dutiful Soldier was forged in the heat of... shuffling.

Onward to our single adventure: Oust Albanus!

My two intrepid heroes started their adventure by attacking and slaughtering the pesky villagers. How dare they even look at us, we are glorious!
They then entered the sewers and laid waste to any and all who dared cross their path. Rats, spiders, brigands... Feh. None shall best Team Awesome... Until the first head bandit managed to knock them both out, just a little bit.

When Team Not-So-Awesome awoke in their cage, they decided to get revenge. Not by the cowardly path of caving in the lair with explosives, they went with releasing the krake... Big Rat. The Big Rat mopped the floor with the bandits until Team We're-Awesome-Again broke their bonds and returned to their waste-laying prowess we saw earlier that day.

Victory and a lifetime of cheese was theirs!

(image) Solo is better with two adventurers
(image) Loot! Glorious loot!

Definitely going to get a proper version of this game (image)

Session: Blind Mythos:: 2nd solo play of 1st scenario

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:29:06 +0000

by chrisbogert

At least a few people are watching this forum, so figured I'd put up a very brief run-through of my second full-game.

I don't want to spoil the scenario contents, so I'm afaid it will have to be a very short session report.

In the beginning there was Coal-Tar
- From my first loss (due to running out of turns) of this scenario, I figured out a few things on how to better approach it.
- First there is no time to waste, well a little here and there, but unless you are really lucky with your searches and researching clues, you will have no time left towards the end. Not to mention the incessant hordes of coal-tar piling up everywhere in the city.
- Second, don't group together, and don't be afaid to utilize the taxi and train system to move around the board, like I noted, no time to spare.

So, first I scattered the characters to the far corners of the board to uncover clues...
story moves along, 1/2 the characters are pretty beat up, but overall going well.
Board contamination not too much of a problem around the end of turn 4.

Skip, skip, skip (too many spoilers)

Last turn!! Second character uncovers the end-game scene, and it comes down to the last two characters to finish the game.

First character dies rather suddenly...
Second character is buff enough to deal with the "boss"..
At least I thought so... until he died.

- I know, not much of a session report, but the story is half the fun of the scenarios, so don't want to give anything away.
I don't even know what all of the clues are still.
I will definitely go back and play through this scenario again.
It was very tense almost all the way through it, and really came down to the wire at the end.
~The last turn, the last character's last move and it really could have gone either way until a devastating hit to the character, and his next weak attack. That last weak attack sealed his fate.

Conclusion: Very tense, lots of sighing on my part and a few curse words at appropriate times.
This scenario will still be hard fought on my next try.

I think the scenarios are meant to be tried at least a few times, even if you win, because I still have some clues to find and certainly need to strategize a bit more.

Great fun.

Session: Leaving Earth:: An interesting 1st 2 player game

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:50:40 +0000

by carbon_dragon

I taught a friend of mine the base game and the result was a very interesting game, exhibiting two widely diverse strategies between my new player friend and me (who has played the game solitaire a lot more). In effect, the result was a Tortoise and the Hare game.

My friend was more anxious to get into space from the start and was willing to take more risks. As a result, he took a short term strategy and I took a long term strategy. He went for all the easy missions and the lunar survey and then tried to beat me to the last 2 missions, the Mercury Survey and the Mercury Lander. Had he managed to pick up all but that lander mission, he would have won, despite my getting that last lander mission.

Trying to get to Mercury first, I needed a LOT of different rockets, as well as survey and landing. I worked at getting all those advancements and fully testing them. it was some time before I could even assemble my rocket and test the components. In the meantime my friend was racking up points first with hordes of Atlas' and then with Ion Rockets.

Finally he had assembled an ion rocket and went to luna while I was testing my last components. He got the lunar survey and then moved the rocket to earth orbit to get ready for the Mercury trip. When my megarocket was ready he was already in inner planets transfer with a time token.

I blasted my way up through sub orbital, orbit and inner planets also with a time token. He then flew to Mercury flyby with 2 time tokens while I got there with 1, blowing by him to get the survey and the landing.

As it turned out, I think I should have been going first once I fell behind in the point score. In retrospect, I suspect my own strategy was bad, that I should have taken more risks or generated rockets with fewer rocket types. Man those Saturns are expensive.

Session: Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game:: Long Haul – Vip Kidnapping [Escape Mission]

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:50:23 +0000

by Denell My Special Forces team on assignment in Afghanistan has been reassigned to deal directly with a hostile Nations threats; Kidnap a VIP across a formidable distance through the hostile country and return to base.The Mission: Long Haul.This card gives my team 123 resources to apply towards the mission; and we’ll need every one of them as it adds 2 to each Hostile value of each Location card. The Objective VIP Kidnapping will likewise add 1 to each Location’s Entrance Value. [Zembiec is a Glutton for punishment, I guess].Zembiec:Loadout value = 13: +Molle (5) = 18M203 (M4) Carbine: Resource = 9: Loadout = 5 Suppressor: Rscs’=3, Loadout =1(1) mags x 6 each of 5.56mm ammo: Rscs’=1, Loadout=1 (4) – 40mm Grenade: Rscs’=4, Loadout=4Skills: Leadership: Rscs’=5, +1 Move Focus: Rscs’=3, -1XP to Ignore Screens Stealthy: Rscs’=2, Reduce card cost by 1 Operator: Rscs’=4 1 +1 Hand SizeEquipment: Mich Helmit: Rscs’=2, Loadout=1: +1 move each Mich equipped soldier: Molle: Rscs’=1, Loadout=0: +5 additional Loadout Additional Weapons: (1) M72 Law: Rscs’=3, Loadout=3: (1) M83 Smoke Grenade: Rscs’=2, Loadout=2 (1) M48 Flash Bang: Rscs’=1, Loadout=1(1) MQ 9 Reaper: Rscs’=11, Loadout=0(nps) Samaniego: Rscs’=8Mp5 SMG (Suppressed)First Aid Kit (nps) Bryant: Rscs’=5M4 CarbineMich Helmit(nps) Rosas: Rscs’=8M16a2(1) M67 GrenadeMich Helmit(squad) Neal: Rscs’=5(squad) Walker: Rscs’=8Mission Card (Long Haul) is placed on position #1 and the Objective Card (VIP Kidnapping) is placed on position 8 with the ‘Inactive’ token removed & my team stationed upon it to begin the game. The Time marker is placed on number 15. Zembiec is given the same # as his health value (8) +1 for the Operator skill for a total of 9 cards drawn. In addition the Long Haul mission requires that all Location & Objective cards receive a +2 to the Hostile value of each of those Location cards. The VIP Kidnapping card requires an additional +1 Entrance Cost of all Locations. I had stripped my team of most of their heavy weapons as I wanted a fleet footed and fast retreat from the kidnapping compound. I am mainly going to rely heavily upon Fire support, if it can be acquired in a timely manner; if not I’ll use the Reaper to make short work of a problem. I don’t anticipate much problem getting out of the compound with the prisoner as it’s lightly defended as they aren’t expecting us. Brought along a LAW for problem vehicles that their military is sure to have. Zembiec Holds:Overwatch x2, Snap Shot, Flanking Attack, Suppress, Take Cover, Prepared Fire, Squad Attack, &(1) Location Marker = Open Terrain.Zembiec:ACTION #1 & 2: The Kidnapping worked perfectly, 1 VIP in the bag. As the team enters the compound to make their escape; Zembiec scouts & scans the horizon to determine the way out. This compound was literally set up in the middle of no-wh[...]

Session: Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game:: Game one - Poor Monk

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:27:07 +0000

by kazozza

I've been eyeing this game off for a while and finally got around to printing a copy to try before I buy.

I chose the Idealist Monk as I thought it would have a good balance of abilities (two magic and four melee). This turned out to be untrue as I did not beat a single enemy in four games on normal difficulty.

(image) Learning to Adventure: The Monk was totally idealist as he had no useful skills whatsoever and hurt himself in his confusion.
(image) Oust Albanus: The Monk was ousted from consiousness by flailing his arms around and essentailly running into a wall.
(image) Mistress Malaise: Bad times for the Monk here as he was sandwiched by the undead and then joined their ranks as a corpse.
(image) Dungeon Crawl: Literally a crawl for help as a Direwolf ate the Monk pretty much at the dungeon entrance.

All in all, a dismal effort by the Monk, but it was still fun. I have a feeling this game is not really geared towards solo play as well as it could be as the penalties for low rolls are really harsh. With no other adventurers to watch each other's backs or synergise their attacks, a lone adventurer is at a total disadvantage.
But, I'm likely to have missed something as it was my first play. I forgot my D20 and was relying on the app for dice rolls and it really didn't like me today. Not really an excuse though (image)

It was still fun! I really want to play this one again at the pub.

(image) Games are super quick
(image) Easy to set up
(image) Not much space required - perfect for the pub / camping.
(image) The app takes care of almost everything and functions really well
(image) Brutal, like a dungeon should be!

I might grab the proper version from the Kickstarter in a few weeks.